The Healing of Songs (Hansen)


I chose this image because the relationship between identity and survival is something that is quite interesting. Surviving such traumatic events can severely alter one’s identity, cause those survivors to question who they are to themselves, who they are to others and who they are to their society. All those who have survived had an identity before their experiences, an identity during the experience and then an identity, that of a survivor, after their experience. After going through so much, it is only natural that they would question who they are now after they have dealt with such life altering events. The survivors have to learn how to live again and live with the memories and effects of what happened to them.

Song and its power to heal:

I feel that all forms of art can be used by anyone as a way of healing, coping and moving past a traumatic event in their life. For many of those in South Africa, where song and performances were already a part of their culture, it seems fitting that they would use song to help themselves heal after a traumatic event, like being capture and tortured by enemy forces. Song can lead to healing because the art of song is something that they already use to express happiness, sorrow, mourning, celebration, etc. And because song is so universal, in and outside their culture, by expressing their experiences through their songs, it is more accepted by others in their cultural and allows for the survivors to more easily tell their stories. And once others hear of their stories, they can for a community and love and support, letting the survivors know that they are not alone.

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