A Charlie Ryder Production - charlieryder.co.uk
Stories of Healing is a film which 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.
Invisible, by Joni-Rae Carrack, 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... Facilitating public discussions, contributing to research and policy change, and providing training events on how to better protect children and prevent these crimes.
The Art of Healing was written by Charlie Ryder. Puppet maker and puppeteer Sabrina Daniele takes the viewer through a process of finding healing through the art of puppetry and nature.
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, Charlie Ryder, and Raven Kaliana collaborated to produce 'Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress,' a short film. Sue works as a counsellor using the Human Givens approach, as well as offering occupational therapy for trauma survivors. She's 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. 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.
Composer Nina Danon 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.