Anthrow Circus

Trauma-Informed Art-Making: An Interview

ARTICLE BY HEATHER M. SURLS
PHOTOS BY SARAH RACINE

Over the last decade Sarah Racine has worked internationally as a trauma-informed art-maker, helping a spectrum of individuals—from victims of human trafficking to refugees—find healing from trauma, abuse, and war. Though Racine calls Lancaster, Pennsylvania, “home” in the U.S., she recently relocated to Amman, Jordan, to study Arabic and explore options for working long-term in the region. Racine sat with Anthrow Circus’s Jordan correspondent, Heather Surls, to talk about her profession and how the arts can bring healing and hope to adults and children affected by trauma.

The Healing Found in Clowning Around

TEXT BY LORE CALDWELL
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ELLA MANN & RHIANNA MANN
MAKEUP ARTIST & MODEL – ELLA MANN


I was one of the ones who tried to run away and join the circus. It’s true. I got on the train to New York City with my army green backpack, which held some clothes, to be sure, but more importantly, it held my sketchbook and drawing pens. My dad ran onto the train as it pulled out of the station and thwarted my efforts. He calmly sat down next to me, and we rode the train into the city together. By the time we arrived, in his gentle way, he had helped me see that this was not the best plan.

A Circus Where Least Expected

TEXT BY DANIELLE B.
VIDEO BY KAMI L. RICE

When people learn that I’ve recently moved to Kabul, their first question is usually, “What is it like?”

How do I describe a city filled with such contrasts and contradictions? Exquisite rose gardens bloom behind walls edged with razor wire, guarded by Kalashnikov-toting private security.