expressions of emotion
Fa’aaliga o Lagona
TAC's initiative, Fa'aāliga o Lagona (Expressions of Emotion) started as an art therapy program working with girls from the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG). It was designed to engage victims of trauma and abuse in an expressive arts program, although it was soon realized the impact art could have on the wider community. The arts are a powerful means of self-expression and can help a person understand and process his or her emotions.
Speaking about one’s personal feelings can be difficult in the context of Samoan culture where, as a communal society, the collective identity and honor of the various groupings in village life can sometimes take precedence over the individual's aspirations. Artistic expression through drawing, painting and sculpture, can provide a safe space in which individuals may express their emotions while also building feelings of self-esteem.
The art centre has expanded the program to include consumers from Goshen Mental Health Trust, Mental Health Services, Aoga Fia Malamalama School for the Intellectually Challenged, patients of the Samoa Mental Health Unit and the Lelata Baha'i Youth Group.