Exploring the concept of social art through a single session art activity with asylum seekers

Tali Gil Schwartzberg, Ephrat PI Huss, Vered Slonim-Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes a single-session Social Art intervention with a group of Eritrean migrant detainees in Israel during which they described their journey and created messages to the hegemonic Israeli society. The paper describes the protocol of the puzzle art intervention. It then presents the central themes within the asylum seekers’ art that include remembering home, the traumatic journey, arriving in Israel, and pleas to have empathy and to enable them to be free rather than imprison them. The aim of this case study is theoretical, using the case study to describe the characteristics and mechanisms of Social Arts (SA) as manifested in this activity. It shows how a SA orientation integrates the dual areas of psychological and also social agency. This is discussed as a complex theoretical challenge as well as an advantage. This paper hopes to illuminate the complexity of elements of SA as a specific and under-researched direction within art therapy. The descriptive arts activity also provides a protocol for using arts in similar shared reality group and community contexts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number101729
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Art therapy
  • Arts based research
  • Israel
  • Refugees

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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