Arts as a vehicle for community building and post-disaster development

Ephrat Huss, Roni Kaufman, Amos Avgar, Eitan Shuker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Use of the arts in international aid is common in an ad hoc form, but it has not been systematically theorised or evaluated. The arts have the potential to be a culturally contextualised and sustainable intervention for adults and children in the aftermath of war or disaster. On the micro level, the arts are a method to enable the retrieval and reprocessing of traumatic memories that are often encoded in images rather than in words. On a macro level, they can help to reconstruct a group narrative of a disaster as well as mobilise people back into control of their lives. This paper researches a long-term project using arts in Sri Lanka following the civil war and tsunami. A central finding is the need to understand arts within their cultural context, and their usefulness in strengthening the voices and problem-solving capacities of the victims of the disaster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-303
Number of pages20
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Arts in disaster intervention
  • Arts-based research
  • Culturally sensitive disaster intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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