Healing trauma through poetry

Goethe Institute last weekend held a two-day workshop under the theme Discovering the transformative power of poetic writing.
Zürich based Andrea Grieder Andrea Grieder (R) listens to one of the participants.
Zürich based Andrea Grieder Andrea Grieder (R) listens to one of the participants.

Goethe Institute last weekend held a two-day workshop under the theme Discovering the transformative power of poetic writing.

The workshop was attended by a handful of notable poets and writers within Kigali. Social anthropologist Andrea Grieder from Switzerland also graced the event.

The workshop provided practical ways of dealing with a traumatic past and the genocide in the Rwandan context through poetic expressions.

Speaker after speaker expressed their sentiments on different social issues through poetry in Kinyarwanda, French and English.

Grieder, a PhD holder, whose thesis was based on the Rwanda predicament of dealing with trauma equally shared her innermost sentiments through poetry and urged Rwandans to try self expression as a way dealing with such challenges.

Grieder organises similar cultural and artistic workshops about Rwanda in Switzerland aimed at building societal transformation and exploring the power of creativity.

Sharon Ampaire, one of the attendants appreciated the beauty about self-expression that she said left her with a new perspective on life’s challenges. 

“The workshop came at a crucial time when Rwandans are commemorating the lives of over a million people that died in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. It was indeed beneficial to those that are traumatised by such happenings and the many that face different day to day challenges,” she added.

Goethe Institut plans to hold more similar workshops intended to empower people especially the youth overcome challenges through sharing and in a way finding practical solutions to such predicaments.

The workshop concluded on Sunday evening.

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