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Stories of Healing 60 min
brings together the voices of those who have experienced trauma or other life challenges, but have used creative means to heal. Interviews, artwork, and puppetry illuminate the pathways they have chosen to navigate and make new meaning from their experiences. Interviewees collaborated with puppeteers to share their experience of healing through individual film segments, using shadow animations and

other forms of puppetry. The film shines a light on how artistic expression can help with recovery from trauma and illness, as well as raising awareness about the issues each of the interviewees has faced. An emotionally moving and visually striking film for general audiences, Stories of Healing can also be used as an educational tool for art therapists, psychologists and other professionals working in the healing community.

Charlie Ryder is a puppeteer, creative producer, and collaborator. In 1995 he was sent to prison for 16 months for his part in a violent protest against racism. While in prison he kept a scrapbook to record his journey which he later developed into a one man play to share his prison experience. Working with puppeteers Raven Kaliana, Richard Mansfield, and Tony Sinnett, Charlie paints a picture of his journey from prison to the freedom of healing and forgiveness.

Joni-Rae Carrack - 'Invisible' explores her personal experience of anxiety. The film provides understanding of the physical and emotional effects of a long-term illness, and how just talking about it can help to relieve the pressure. This was made before Joni suffered a breakdown, one which led to medical intervention that finally led her onto a road to recovery.

Raven Kaliana, a puppeteer and puppet maker, was trafficked for sexual exploitation throughout her childhood. She escaped through going off to university, and now runs an arts-based organisation to help others called Outspiral. In her interview, she recounts the ways in which creative expression played a role in processing the trauma, building a healthy and supportive social network, and creating a joyful, meaningful life. She directs puppet-based plays and films, and has used her autobiographical film for adults, Hooray for Hollywood, for social change work around the globe.

Sabrina Daniele, a puppet maker and puppeteer, takes the viewer through a process of finding healing through the art of puppetry and nature, in a segment written by Charlie Ryder, 'The Art of Healing.'

Darren Horsnell joined the Royal Artillery aged 17 and saw military service in Northern Ireland and the Falklands. Darren experienced post-traumatic stress throughout his time in the army. He discovered a talent for painting through art therapy at Tyrwhitt House, a Surrey treatment centre. Darren now teaches art with a group called Veterans in communities which is based in Lancashire. In the film, Darren shares about how his counselling and art therapy has transformed his life. Shadow puppeteer Richard Mansfield has created a beautiful animation of Darren's story.

Sue Hanisch is an internationally respected public speaker providing insight into post-traumatic stress for audiences around the world, has participated on the Forgiveness Project, and has earned a pilot's license. Sue was gravely injured in an IRA bombing in 1991 at Victoria station in London, so her knowledge of trauma recovery is personal as well as professional. Sue works as a counsellor using the Human Givens approach, as well as offering occupational therapy for trauma survivors. Puppeteer Raven Kaliana illustrated Sue's concepts on post-traumatic stress with shadow puppetry to help people understand the physical and emotional effects of trauma, and to show practical approaches for recovery.

Nina Danon, composer, and electronic music duo After Crash, got involved at the early stages of the creation of Stories of Healing to develop the soundtrack of the film. After meeting the artists' and viewing the first drafts of the various videos, they orientated their research on the link between music and the healing process, exploring through their compositions how the link between sounds and visuals affects our feelings, enhancing the emotional journey of each story.

             The Art of Ubuntu 

The Art of Ubuntu(62 Min.)

shines a light on artists around the world who are using or have used art to explore love, reconciliation and healing. Each of the storytellers collaborated with different puppeteers to share their story.

The South African Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu as:
"...the essence of being human. It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong. It speaks about wholeness; it speaks about compassion. A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole. They know that they are diminished when others are humiliated, diminished when others are oppressed, diminished when others are treated as if they were less than who they are. The quality of Ubuntu gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them."

Sonia 'Sunny' Jacobs and Peter Pringle each served years on death row — Jacobs 17 years in the United States and Pringle 15 years in Ireland. Both were exonerated after their convictions were overturned for murders that they did not commit. They attribute much of their strength and survival to the yoga and meditation practices they developed in prison. After meeting at Amnesty International while both

The Art of Ubuntu
campaigning against the death penalty, they soon fell in love and married.  Sunny and Peter are inspirational messengers against the death penalty; campaigning for human rights and for reminding us of the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity, suffering and injustice. They travel worldwide telling their story and shining a light for peace, justice and healing. Peter and Sunny's were recorded sharing their stories and animated by puppeteers Smoking Apples.

Anne Gallagher was a former nurse from the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) in Belfast. She tended to victims on both sides of the sectarian divide, as well as policeman and soldiers. Having a father and three brothers interned in the early days of The Troubles, she experienced the pain of having loved ones imprisoned and killed.

Anne founded Seeds of Hope, an organisation

The Art of Ubuntu

that facilitates story-telling, based on her peace-making work during The Troubles, through music, art, drama, writing and sport. This has led to similar work being carried out in prisons, schools and communities in Sweden, Belgium and the USA.

Anne's daughter Cara pays tribute to Anne's incredible work in Ireland and around the world, animated by puppeteer Raven Kaliana. Anne's words from an interview she did for The Forgiveness Project have been read by actress Imelda Staunton and animated by Handheld Arts.

The Art of Ubuntu

Charlie Ryder is a creative producer, song writer and collaborator. In 1995 he was sent to prison for 16 months for self-defense against violent police tactics during a protest against racism in London. While in prison he kept a scrapbook to record his journey which he later developed into a one-man play to share his prison experience. Working with

puppeteers Raven Kaliana, Richard Mansfield and Tony Sinnett, Charlie paints a picture of his journey from prison to the freedom of healing and forgiveness.

Kholoud Eldesoki began creating art in the Al-Amal neighborhood of the Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, at 23 years old.  She uses makeup and hair spray as a replacement for paints and other materials, which she cannot find in local markets. Interviewed by writer Ismail Abu Aitah as part of the We Are Not Numbers mentoring scheme Khaloud shares some of her artwork and her interview is animated by puppeteer Richard Mansfield.

The Art of Ubuntu

The Art of Ubuntu

Valia Abou Alfadel is a Syrian Artist currently residing in Dubai UAE. Creative Havens: Syrian Artists and Their Studios' is a Franco-Syrian non-profit project. This project aims to raise awareness about the Syrian Art to the public, presenting portraits of Syrian artists in their studios and in their work environments. Valia's interview with 

Syrian Havens was animated with her paintings and a paintbrush puppet connecting to her work which was filmed and edited by puppeteer Tony Sinnett.

Understanding Post Traumatic Stress 7 min
Co-produced by Charlie Ryder, Sue Hanisch, & Raven Kaliana 2012-2015
Commissioned for Charlie Ryder's film 'Stories of Healing.' Text and voiceover by Sue Hanisch, based on her training presentations. Storyboard, puppets, and puppetry by Raven Kaliana.

Prison?  88 Min
Charlie developed his story into a feature film using shadow puppetry, marionettes, rod puppets, masks, visual art, poetry and dance to shine a light on his time inside. Charlie hopes that by painting a picture of his experience it will educate people and challenge perceptions of prison and prisoners.

Website design (c)2011 Raven Kaliana, all content (c)2010-2011 Charlie Ryder and named collaborating artists.