Dr Zena Kamash (Senior Lecturer, Classics) has recently been awarded a British Academy grant for a project called ‘Crafting Heritage for Wellbeing in Iraq’ (CHeWI) with partners Dr Marie LaBrosse (Kashkul Arts Collaborative/American University in Sulaimani, Iraq) and Dr Emma Palmer-Cooper (Psychology, University of Southampton).
Participants at one of Dr Kamash’s pilot workshops, held at Cheney School, Oxford, proudly showing their final creations.
Dr Kamash's project will explore the relationships between crafting, heritage and well-being for survivors of conflict in Iraq. In a series of crafting workshops participants will create their own personal heritage inspired by Iraqi heritage, whether that be an ancient monument or spring flowers. The project has been inspired by pilot workshops that Dr Kamash ran in the UK. Participants at these workshops, who came from a range of backgrounds, commented on how they enjoyed the mindfulness of the techniques, that it was refreshing to explore their identities without words, that it gave them space and time to reflect following trauma and that it helped to improve their self-esteem. Dr Kamash hopes that the workshops in Iraq will be similarly positive.
You can hear Dr Kamash talking about her work and this project here.