Social dreaming and creativity in South Africa: Imagi(ni)ng the unthought known

Hayley Berman, Julian Manley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In this chapter, we introduce social dreaming and image-making as a visual research method illuminating some of the more unconscious and latent psychic textures of the complexities of the South African psyche and the resilience and creativity that can emerge. The process makes manifest realms of experience that can be actively spoken about, engaged with, and utilised as a public story with the potential to bring about social justice and a reflective social engagement. It also facilitates understanding and experience as channelled through collective acts of transformation that might usefully be applied to other situations afflicted by acts of violence leading to trauma. The data used in this chapter come from on-going art therapy programmes for processing traumatic processes in South Africa. These programmes form part of the Lefika la Phodiso -‘The Rock of Healing’ – project in Johannesburg. Lefika was founded by Hayley Berman to contribute to the process of healing trauma through art therapy. Lefika’s training programme empowers community workers to work psychodynamically and creatively in groups as ‘Community Art Counsellors’ (CAC) (Berman 2011; 2016)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationViolent States and Creative States - From the Global to the Individual
Subtitle of host publication Book One - Structural Violence and Creative Structures
EditorsJohn Adlam, Tilman Kluttig, Bandy Lee
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherJessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN (Print)9781785920479
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


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