Art Making Process a Powerful Source of Healing

Dafne Blanco, a graphic designer and self-taught visual artist from Mexico City, moved to Canada 20 years ago, bringing with her a life-long interest in social justice.

In her position as Production Manager for the Theatre for Living (formerly Headlines Theatre), Dafne has been involved with creating relevant and engaging theatre that is issues-based and geared towards assisting with community development and conflict resolution.

Dafne was inspired to study Expressive Arts Therapy after an unprecedented uprising of violence in Mexico related to the drug trafficking industry.

“My husband and I were discussing the social issues that Mexico is facing and the possibility of contributing to Mexican society to help the children who have witnessed violence. I thought, ‘This is it!’ I really need to explore expressive arts therapy.”

While studying Expressive Arts Therapy, Dafne discovered that many of the principles and approaches were linked to her work at the Theatre for Living, in particular, using the community as a resource for healing.

“The beautiful thing about expressive arts is that we use art, not as a tool for diagnosis, but as a powerful source of healing through the art making process. The language of art belongs to all of us, we can use it to heal ourselves and our communities and become better human beings in every way.”

Dafne finished the Vancouver Expressive Arts Program in June 2016. “One of the incredible things that the program has promoted in me on a personal level is an amazing process of self healing, understanding and a continued sense of self expansion,” she said.

Dafne is currently interested in epigenetics and learning how emotional trauma is embodied and stored in our body. She is researching how trauma is connected not only to our life experience but also to our historical and social background and how trauma is carried through the generations in our DNA.

“One of my passions is history and how social and historical forces shape us, so that’s why I’m so interested in generational trauma. I would like to work with people who have experienced various types of genocide and violence and to discover the role of expressive arts to heal that trauma and release it.”

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