Arts and health as a practice of liminality: Managing the spaces of transformation for social and emotional wellbeing with primary school children
The paper examines arts-based interventions in two primary schools in which small groups of children are taken out of their everyday classrooms to participate in weekly sessions. The paper argues that such intervention is usefully seen as a practice of liminality, a distinct time and space that needs careful management to realise a transformative potential. Such management involves negotiating multiple sources of tension to balance different modes of power, forms of art practices and permeability of the liminal time-space. Framing arts-based practices as a spatial practice connects the field theoretically into both the social and spatial and can bridge the diversity of practice in engaging the arts to enhance health and wellbeing.
Sarah Atkinson (BA Anthropology, MSc Human Nutrition, PhD Anthropology) is a Professor at Department of Geography in Durham University, UK. She is also an Associate Director in the Institute for Medical Humanities and a Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing. Her research interests include Wellbeing and Community Wellbeing; Critical Medical Humanities Spaces and practices of care of the body; Arts, health and wellbeing.
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