Using Art To Overcome Trauma Creativity is a common medicine. It’s a way of making sense of what you’ve experienced or whatever pain you’re going through.Whether it’s drawing, writing, painting, dancing, most have their own creative outlet for working through trauma.It’s not about talent or even skill, it’s about taking the time to do something you enjoy, something that acts as a mental aid for you. When we’re discussing mental health and self care, doing something creative often crops up - something as simple as using a colouring book to de-stress.Most of us are lucky. If we’re in that position where we need to do something to put our mind at ease, to express our thoughts, feelings and emotions, doing so is relatively easy.We can pick up our smart phones or pop to the shops and get what we need to do so. It’s relatively inexpensive and pretty easily attainable.The vast majority of us have the education to articulate what we want to do or say. We can write and read, and if we’re looking to learn a new skill we have the means of doing so. However, that’s not the case for everyone.For victims of modern slavery, who have often endured unimaginable trauma, access to such opportunities is virtually non-existent. Modern slavery is a crime built on greed, with victims being exploited through forced labour, domestic servitude or sexual exploitation - in order to maximise profit. As a result, most are left in destitution; sometimes unable to afford food or clothes, let alone anything extra to help them guide them through their trauma. Even purchasing a pen and paper could put them at risk of running entirely out of money. Their stories are harrowing, and their voices deserve to be heard. We set up #ArtIsFreedom, an art exhibition showcasing artwork by victims of modern slavery as we wanted to give victims the opportunity to share their journeys and use creativity in the way that all of us take for granted. Through numerous workshops run by volunteers, we were able to give those within our service the chance to really connect with their creative side and, if they chose to, use the opportunity to express their thoughts or journeys. Each workshop catered to a different form of art, including painting, textiles, photography and writing, with each person choosing which workshops they wanted to attend. For some, the workshops offered the first time they had ever painted or used a camera. For others, it uncovered an incredible hidden talent that otherwise may have remained unknown. The results were poignant and thought provoking, providing insight into their experiences and what freedom and being free in a city like London means to them. Marking Anti-Slavery Day 2018, the #ArtIsFreedom exhibition is open at the Anise Gallery in Central London, from 16 – 20th October. We’d like you to invite you to come along and take a look at what art and the freedom of expression and creativity can offer, and celebrate the fantastic work made by victims of modern slavery. Here’s all the information you need. Join the #ArtIsFreedom conversation on Twitter now, and share your snaps from the Galley.