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Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa: Arts on Disasters


Art on Disasters

Disaster Management is a continuous and integrated multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral process of planning and implementation of various measures so as to protect communities. Such measures are prevention, mitigation, and preparedness, response to disasters, recovery and rehabilitation of communities affected. For this project, rehabilitation is the main outcome of the project; it is a process of restoring individuals, communities and the environment after the impacts of disasters to its normal condition through therapy, education and counselling.

Disasters have a devastating effect on societies which bring fear, uncertainties, and usually post-traumatic stress disorders. Most survivors and the affected seek comfort in art. Furthermore, humanitarian workers are at war with man-made and natural disasters, sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. In loss, the arts seeks to console humanitarian workers as a reminder of the struggle and continuous efforts to alleviate pain and suffering. Art has served as a memorial and healing process, it has helped affected communities interpret their emotions. 'Art on Disasters' is a project including all categories of art which seeks to educate people about the risks and impacts of disasters through art. It will help advocates of humanity to communicate peace and safety of communities more effectively.

This project will be highly beneficial to the South African community and beyond, because everyone is at risk and disasters affect everybody despite their financial background, gender or status in the community. Through this project, peace and reconciliation among affected communities will be achieved, especially in conflict-stricken events. As a way of improving quality of life, community members will be educated about their risks as well as rehabilitate them through participation in projects like art therapy.

Different categories of art, related to all forms of disasters, will be collected and developed, such as paintings, photography, sculptures, poetry, theatre, and short stories.

Stephanie Peters, Thomas Hart Benton, Tania Kovats, and Medhi Naimi are just a few of the many artists that produce paintings on man-made and natural disasters. They are artists that believe in art therapy as a form of self expression, well-being and the recovery process.

Examples of Art on Disasters
First Art on Disasters Exhibition Report

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