Academic journal article The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work

Resisting Violences, Reclaiming Lives: Honouring the Insider Knowledges, Initiatives and Contributions of Young People Responding to Intimate Partner & Family Violence through Film

Academic journal article The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work

Resisting Violences, Reclaiming Lives: Honouring the Insider Knowledges, Initiatives and Contributions of Young People Responding to Intimate Partner & Family Violence through Film

Article excerpt

Acknowledgements

Many people and organisations made contribution to this project. This project was funded by a FACHSIA Round Three 'Respectful Relationships' grant and filmed in partnership with JETZAC Productions (www.jetzak.com/). Thank you to those who have shouldered me up (Reynolds, 2013) in this work and offered their time, vision and skills in making this project possible.

Introduction

This is a story with many histories, many paths, and many futures. Its seeds stretch back into feminist movement (hooks, 2000), the herstory of the Domestic Violence Action Centre in Ipswich, the offerings of narrative practices and of course its participants' own unique journeys. Its form began to emerge through a series of workshops and conversations in which I was struck by the rich wisdom, skills and knowledge that young people, in the community of Ipswich, were using to resist domestic and family violence and to reclaim their lives from its effects. This article will present a fragment of this story across a period of ten months with five young people, two creative filmmakers and myself as main protagonists. The project ultimately came to be comprised of a series of interconnected phases that weaved through individual conversations, group conversations, film-making workshops, film screenings, and the development of a blog.

Across this article I will canvas the ways in which I employed and adapted narrative practices to generate double-story development in individual conversations, group conversations, and in collective documentation. On embarking on this journey it was and still is now my hope, as Sharon Welch contends, that this is 'participation in a communal work, laying the groundwork for the creative response of people in the present and in the future' (Welch, 1990, p. 75). That it might 'provide partial resolutions and the inspiration and conditions for further partial resolution by others' (Welch, 1990, p. 75). It is my sense that the use of narrative practices in this context has 'enabled ideas of how to counteract the problem to be generated from the community itself rather than be imposed from the outside' (Sliep, 1996, p. 155). This seems especially significant in a human services industry that is deeply influenced by ideas of client and community deficit, and relies heavily on 'professional expertise' for solutions and responses.

Context a nd commu nity

Thalia was silent. When I met first her at her local high school she had made a commitment to remain mute all day as a symbolic act in acknowledgement of the silencing that young people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer, experience. She let me know later that I had made keeping this commitment particularly hard, as we were hosting conversations with her class on topics she said she was almost irresistibly drawn into having verbally. As a community educator employed with a local domestic violence service, these were conversations about relationships, sexual ethics, and gender injustices. Thalia wrote furiously on a little notepad from 9am to 3pm, communicating her thoughts and responses to the themes of discussion. Witnessing this extraordinary act, in which she so skillfully navigated resistance to multiple and intersecting oppressions and contributed to the dialogue even through a vow of silence, I began thinking in new ways about the creative and powerful stories I had heard from young people in responding to violences and in creating preferred visions of themselves, relationships and communities.

It got me wondering ... how many other young people were speaking about these issues in ways that required a different kind of listening to be heard? What might it mean to discover, document and celebrate these sorts of voices and acts? What difference might it make to young people to know they are not alone in these sorts of hopes, intentions and endeavours? What sort of healing might become available for the injustices young people have suffered? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.