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Journal article Open Access

Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance in Armed Conflicts: A Case Study with Western Saharan Refugees

Angelo Miramonti

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    <subfield code="a">Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance; Drama Therapy; Art Based Research-Intervention; Peacebuilding; Western Sahara</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;Background: I explore the hypothesis that Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance (ATP) can help people traumatized by armed conflicts heal from their wounds, make their gifts visible and benefit their communities. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
Methods: I analyse the case of Saleh, a 21-year-old Sahrawi refugee who survived police abuses and displacement in the Western Saharan occupied territories. I analyse the evolution of Saleh&amp;rsquo;s self-image and capacity to interact with a group of peers during the creation of an autobiographical monologue he performed in front of an audience. &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
Results: the synergic interaction of warm-up exercises, storytelling, embodiment, public performance, and post-performance reflection supported Saleh in re-framing his painful biographic memories, enhancing his self-perception and strengthening his connections with his peers and community. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
Conclusions: this case study corroborates the hypothesis that ATP could be effective in supporting people affected by traumas related to armed conflicts in creating cohesive life narrative, enhancing their self-image and involving the audience in building a sense of shared belonging to a common history. I recommend further research on ATP in war environments and the intentional and systematic use of ATP in healing traumas of persons affected by armed conflicts. &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
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