Becoming Other-Wise: A Story Of A Collaborative And Narrative Approach To Art Therapy With Two Indigenous Kids ‘In Care’
Pp. 155-203 (49)
This chapter engages with the question of working with ‘the Other’, and especially with those who are Othered by colonialism, through an account of therapeutic work with two Indigenous Australian children who have been removed from their families of origin. As a non-Indigenous art therapist working in collaboration with an Indigenous community worker and carer, I consider this experience in the context of past histories and present-day effects and practices of colonisation, in particular the legacies of Australia's Stolen Generation. The chapter is framed by a commentary from the Indigenous worker and carer, since collaboration and consultation are just as central to the methodology of writing this account as to the therapeutic work itself. Within this frame, I offer a series of tellings and retellings, and engage with how visual art can gesture toward the unspeakable. I take up poetry as an alternative form of enquiry to the genre of the case study, in order to shape a poetics as well as a politics of therapeutic practice. I consider how this work, and writing about this work, has brought my dominant professional identity and practice into question and engaged me in becoming Other-wise. I begin with the words of Galiindurra, followed by a poem I wrote for the family.
University Of Western Sydney