The Colour Palette: How can art aid healing from racial trauma?
Thahmina Begum, artist and trainee art psychotherapist, asks: ‘how can art aid healing from racial trauma?’. The Colour Palette is a Community Research Project that aims through art making to give voices to Bangladeshi groups and their lived experiences of racism.
This project explores the contentious, complex and personal issue of racial trauma through nine Creative Laboratories with three different generational groups in Beeston.
The Creative Labs explore what racial trauma is, through art making and discussion. The project shows how art making can support individual and collective healing through discussion and reflection.
Listen to this text here:
The content and discussion emerging from these Creative Labs concerns lived experiences of racism and racial trauma. Much of the content may be emotionally and intellectually challenging to engage with.
Content warnings: racism and racial slurs, hateful language directed at religious groups (Islamophobia), violence, death or dying, oppressive language, mental ill health, blood and swearing.
"We created a safe space to make a brave space"Thahmina Begum, artist
Thahmina Begum, The Colour Palette: How Can Art Aid Healing from Racial Trauma?, 2021
Read a transcript of the film here:
“What's come out of this, some of the incidents that've happened to us... We don't realise it's actually racism. We just take it as though maybe it's just meant to be, honest. But now that we've gone into depth, we do now realise it is racism.”Participant
“… educate yourself on how to stop being racist. I would like you to meet Muslims in the community and talk to them and understand how your actions affect people mentally and physically. I think you should also educate your kids, friends, family and people of similar mindset to you. I think you should go on a restorative justice programme to get closure for yourself and victims of racism.”Participant
Please see these links below that signpost other services for additional support around issues raised in the above content.
- – Coronavirus Asylum Handbook, The Refugee Action Good Practice and Partnerships Team
- – DOSTI - Asian Women's Support Service in Leeds
- – Leeds Women’s Aid – protect women and families from the damage that domestic violence and abuse can cause
- – Women’s Health Matters – Helping women and girls make paths to freedom and a better life
- – St. Luke’s Cares – A charity committed to making South Leeds a better place.
- – IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) is the NHS programme to rollout recommended talking therapies to people experiencing depression and anxiety disorders.
- – Mind Mate is a Leeds-based website for young people, their families and the professionals who support them. We’re here to help you explore emotional wellbeing and mental health issues.
- – MindWell Leeds
- – Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network
- – Action on Postpartum Psychosis
- – Hearing Voices Network is committed to helping people who hear voices, see visions and experience tactical sensations and those that support them.
- – Yorkshire MESMAC
- – Samaritans
Discover the other PANIC! bursary artists
This work is presented as part of the PANIC! (Promoting an Artists' Network in the Crisis) series of bursaries.
Earlier this year, PANIC! awarded four artists in Leeds City Region £5,000 and £1,000 bursaries to support the making of a new contemporary visual artwork or project. The bursaries offered space to create a voice and help us think through the new psychological, social and cultural conditions we face today.
For the £1,000 bursaries:
Kevin Devonport and Hannah Lawless
For the £5,000 bursaries:
alabamathirteen and Thahmina Begum