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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-42

Creativity as an intervention strategy with Mayan women in Guatemala

1 Professor of Community-Cultural Psychology in the Lynch School of Education and Associate Director, Center for Human Rights & International Justice, Boston College. www2.bc.edu/~lykes
2 Associate Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and Research Fellow, Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York University

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This article explores the transformative potential of creativity, including the creative arts, embodied practices and Mayan storytelling and rituals. These were used as strategies in psychosocial and feminist rights based interventions and participatory research conducted by Guatemalan civil society actors with Mayan women in the aftermath of gross human rights violations committed during the 36 years of Guatemalan armed conflict. Drawing on a series of participatory creative workshops, facilitated by the authors, this article highlights rural Mayan women's understanding and assessments of their engagement with creative resources as a means to address the effects of the armed conflict. The article argues that performing these interventions offers possibilities for personal transformation, through both individual and small group experiences. Additionally, these interventions contain the potential to encourage communities towards social transformation.

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