Traumascapes works to change the ecosystem of trauma and create new horizons for survivors through
art and science.
Our work is bold, disruptive, and caring. It serves trauma survivors (individuals and groups who have been impacted by traumatic experiences such as, but not limited to, interpersonal abuse or systemic violence), persons and communities who support survivors, & professionals, organisations, and institutions who work on trauma and/or with survivors.
The Traumascapes Community of Thought and Action is a network of trauma survivors with an interest in art, science, and activism who come together to advance thinking and practice on trauma. We connect, support, explore, play, ideate, question, (re)imagine, (re)invent, disrupt, articulate, create, and take action.
Survivors of violence, abuse, and other traumatic experiences are isolated and often marginalised, having to navigate the harrowing reality of trauma on their own with little to no support. Additionally, trauma thinking and practice is largely done in silos, rarely bringing different fields together.
We combine lived expertise, art, and science into six workstreams that tackle six pressing issues.
Through art exhibitions, public speaking, and media campaigns, we protect trauma survivors’ rights, powers, and joys, we raise awareness of trauma, we build solidarity and collective responsibility to end violence and abuse,
& we rewrite the sociocultural narrative of trauma
on survivors’ own terms.
We live in a world that normalises and precipitates violence, both interpersonal and systemic, where most people are ignorant to the pervasiveness of abuse and the impact of trauma. In this world, trauma survivors are commonly unseen or viewed as either helpless victims or powerless patients.
Through workshops, trainings, courses, and educational resources, we support trauma survivors’ understanding of their experience and contribute to their self-empowerment and healing. We also equip individuals, professionals, organisations, and institutions with the knowledge to understand trauma and the skills to work sensitively and effectively with trauma survivors.
Though slowly on the increase, trauma knowledge and resources are not readily available and an understanding of trauma is still broadly lacking beyond its specialist field. Trauma survivors typically do not have the knowledge needed to recognise, understand, and navigate their experiences and professionals who work with survivors are not consistently equipped with the knowledge and skills to do so in a trauma-sensitive way.
Through interdisciplinary research that is led by survivors and guided by lived expertise, we work to gain a deeper understanding of trauma and to develop new trauma-sensitive and effective methods and approaches to support trauma healing and restore survivors' self-power. We also design creative and impactful research outputs in order to support the sharing of research findings beyond academia.
Unanswered questions &
Significant advances in psychology and neuroscience have enabled a growing understanding of trauma, yet many more questions remain unanswered and there is a clear need for new effective interventions to be developed. Additionally, a great proportion of research on trauma is conducted by non-survivors or without being informed by lived experience, which leads to outcomes that are not necessarily relevant or important to trauma survivors.
Through consultancy services, we offer bespoke expert advice on trauma-sensitive practice, meaningful involvement of trauma survivors in research (empirical and applied), art, and other work related to trauma.
Not all professionals and organisations who work with or support survivors know how to sensitively and effectively work with trauma, even when the will is present. Clinicians, researchers, and artists, for example, often struggle to apply trauma-informed principles and/or safely and meaningfully engage, collaborate with, consult, or involve trauma survivors in their work. This can lead to missed opportunities, loss of potential, inadvertent harm, and re-traumatisation.
Through survivor-led, trauma-focused, and trauma-sensitive creative workshops, programmes, and peer support, we write a new healing narrative by and for survivors. We support survivors to regain their power, heal trauma’s impact on mind, brain, and body, and reclaim authorship of their stories and ownership of their lives.
Though traditionally described as a mental experience, trauma is largely embodied. It is a ‘psychophysical experience, even when the traumatic event causes no direct bodily harm’ (Rothschild, 2000). Yet, mainstream therapeutic approaches are predominantly talk-based and do not directly address the embodied experience of trauma. Additionally, access to therapy is problematic. Most survivors do not receive support and those who do have to wait several months for it. According to Mind, 58% of people are not offered a choice in the type of therapy they receive, 50% feel that the number of sessions are not enough, and only 10% of people feel that their cultural needs are taken into account. These issues are reflected in survivors’ mistrust in and complaints of the unsuitability of mainstream treatments and their call for trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and culturally-sensitive practice.
It’s time for a new narrative of trauma.