Social Work Artfully  


Social Work Artfully
Wilfrid Laurier University Press | November 27, 2014 | 250 pages
ISBN: 9781771121224

The past two decades have witnessed a vigorous challenge to social work. A growing global convergence between the market and the public sector means that private sector values, priorities, and forms of work organization increasingly permeate social and community services. At a time when the challenges we face as people and communities are becoming more layered and complex, our means of responding are becoming more time-bound and reductionist. This book is premised on the belief that arts-informed approaches can revitalize social-justice work, affirming and inviting creative responses to personal, community, and political struggles and aspirations. The projects described in the book address themes of colonization, displacement and forced migration, sexual violence, ableism, and vicarious trauma. Each chapter makes visible how art can facilitate transformation: by supporting processes of conscientization and enabling re-storying of selves and identities; by contributing to community and cultural healing, sustainability and resilience; by helping us understand and challenge oppressive social relations; and by deepening experiences, images, and practices of care. Social Work Artfully: Beyond Borders and Boundaries emerges from a collaboration between researchers, educators, and practitioners in Canada and South Africa. It offers examples of arts-informed interventions that are attentive to diversity, attuned to various forms of personal and communal expression, and cognizant of contemporary economic and political conditions.