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The Artist As Artwork: Autobiographical Art, From Trauma to Resilience. Workshop with Ghinwa Yassine

21 Sep 2021

For artists of all kind, writers, and creative spirits.

In this part-talk part-exercise session, we will take a close look at the impulses that drive autobiographical works of art and the intentions behind them. We will delve into the process of different autobiographical and confessional artists as well as artists whose works examine collective trauma. The works will be explored through these three lenses: RECREATING PERSONAL NARRATIVES, EXORCISING FAMILY WOUNDS, and RECLAIMING COLLECTIVE HISTORIES. One of the purposes of this workshop is to uncover the potential of autobiographical art to transform one’s narrative from TRAUMA to RESILIENCE, by allowing artists to uncover hidden memories, owning them, and transforming them into seeds for creativity. 

This two and a half hour workshop is offered free of charge by Eyelevel and Kinetic Studio. Participants will gather at 2482 Maynard Street (Wonder'neath's Project Space) at 6PM on Septmeber 21st. Participants must register in advance as space is limited to 15. Dinner, paper and pens will be provided. This workshop is taught in a wheelchair-accessible space in a *somewhat* closed setting (the space will not be open to the public, but other tenants of 2482 Maynard Street may need to pass through during the workshop). This workshop is taught with a trauma-informed approach. Read Eyelevel's thorough notes on access and code of conduct here...


PLEASE REGISTER HERE https://forms.gle/kqGubeDWQa59QWfM6





We will put some key concepts into practice through guided exercises. These will be short briefs to conceptualize ideas inspired by the information above. The content is personal in nature, and you will be free to share or not share the work you create. You can also use the session to improve on a personal project that you have already initiated.


Is this workshop for me?

This course is for you if you fall under one or more from the following: 

  • You identify yourself as someone whose life influences their art.
  • You are interested in learning about famous artists who worked with material from their lives and how they did it.
  • You have a project based on events from your life that you’d like to pursue and need inspiration to accomplish it.
  • You use your writing or journaling practice for catharsis 
  • You are an emerging artist or art enthusiast looking to broaden your knowledge in art.

You will need:

  • Sketchbook
  • Pencils
  • Any medium that you're comfortable working with (DSLR, phone with camera, drawing material etc.)


About the Artist

Ghinwa Yassine is an anti-disciplinary artist based in Vancouver. Her work uses various media, including film, installation, performance, text, and drawing. Born in Beirut at the end of the Lebanese Civil War and raised in a traditional Shiite Muslim family, she witnessed the entangled historical traumas in Shiism and war narratives.

Yassine’s work confronts the ideological and patriarchal systems that she grew up in while exploring collective feelings and what it means to be a marked body. She seeks a radical historicizing of individual and collective traumas where embodied memories are put into question. Using hybrid forms of storytelling, where story manifests as somatic experiencing, ritual, and gesture, her projects are portals to factual/fictional dimensions that activate collective memory. She pursues community-based research around embodied writing and the healing potential of autobiographical art.

Yassine holds an MFA in Contemporary Art - Interdisciplinary Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, an MA in Digital Video Design from the University of the Arts Utrecht, and a BA in Graphic Design from the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut. Her works have been exhibited in Amsterdam, Hilversum, Dubai, and Vancouver. She is the founder of Arts Embodiment, a trauma-informed interdisciplinary education platform.



About Kinetic Studio

Kinetic Studio is a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation, development and presentation of contemporary dance. Based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) on the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Mi'kmaq people, we support dance artists by providing workshops, classes, artistic residencies, a seasonal program of finished and unfinished works, and more. We aim to foster a supportive, responsive and flexible environment that allows dance artists at all levels to develop to their full artistic potential. Kinetic actively works to uphold anti-oppressive principles in all its activities.