Anadolu Kültür published a research report entitled “Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Role of Art in Psychosocial Support for Children in Periods of Conflict”, Gazete Karınca reports.
The findings of the report are based on, in the field research, conducted between 2015 and 2020 in Turkey’s eastern provinces of Batman (Êlîh), Diyarbakir (Amed), Mardin (Mêrdîn), Şırnak (Şirnex) and Van (Wan).
According to the conclusions of the report, art helps children living in conflict zones to overcome physical and emotional health problems they struggle with and art creates a visible improvement in the traumatic effects on them
The report was prepared by expert psychologist Ebru Ergin, who continues her studies at Hacettepe University Social Work Doctorate Program, and Ezgi Koman, a specialist on child development and education.
Ergin stated that children experience very significant psychosocial problems after the conflict process.
”Communication problems, intense introversion, feeling of loss, regression, inability to express themselves, low interest for social interactions as well as the theme of violence and war in activities are observed among children after the conflict process,” she said.
Koman emphasised that art creates a visible improvement and a positive transformation in such traumatic effects that conflicts have on children:
”We tried to explain the importance of art in the psychosocial programs for children affected by the conflict enviornment. In order to make art activities more visible and widespread in the field of children’s studies, strengthening and facilitating training with funding support should be provided. Strategies should be developed to increase the impact of these works and projects, and facilitate dealing with the difficulties that arise, and help to understand the importance of art works’.”
Within the scope of the research, surveys and in-depth interviews were conducted with a total of 58 people, including 42 representatives from 33 different institutions and 16 researchers in five provinces. Many educators and activists as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations and art organisations who previously conducted art works with traumatised children were among the interviewees of the study.