To create a world we would like to live in, empathy is the key.
In our daily life, we are likely to form assumptions about people based on their actions and words, without considering their lived realities. Through art, literature or cinema we are able to put ourselves aside and experience the life of another person. We journey along with them – from their backstories to their current reality.
Suzanne M. Peloquin in her paper Art: An Occupation With Promise for Developing Empathy (1995) explains that, “empathy requires a participation in the life of another that is personal and without prejudice.” She also adds, “artists and philosophers suggest that art rouses a person’s sensibilities because it invites response, emotion, and connection.” This response, emotion, and connection connect the art to the recipients and it resembles empathy closely.
We’ll share movies and binge-worthy tv-series of men and women struggling for social inclusion like a 40 year old mum who pretends to be 26 years old in order to land a job and all the new lingo she needs to learn like FOMO!
When explaining the meaning of being empathetic to children, we might fumble looking for the right words and so Serein’s Empathy Through Art guide will also include examples for children through books and movies making it easier for you. And so, we’ll explore books and movies that portray disability with empathy – for example Richa Jha’s book Machher Jhol which tells us about little Gopu, a visually impaired boy, who takes care of his father rather than being a burden on him!
Since India is such a rich with diverse culture, we plan to introduce art from all over the country with themes of empathy and compassion. Have you come across Amandeep Sandhu’s book Sepia Leaves? This beautiful book tackles the hurdles we face in society due to unspoken issues of mental health.
We bet you wouldn’t consider Leonardo DiCaprio’s Shutter Island to be on our list. But it is! That’s how diverse and exciting our guide showing examples of empathy is!
This journey has no age limit – we believe compassion and understanding for lives that may or may not resemble ours along with accepting that learning is the key to being truly inclusive.
That is the intent for Serein’s Empathy Through Art Series. Stay tuned!
At Serein we believe that diversity and inclusion are the pillars of a good society. Issues of inclusion, diversity, unconscious bias and mental health can affect home and the workplace in many ways. Having worked on gender and with many other forms of diversity we have come to realise that an empathetic approach to all builds inclusion. It also builds a trusting environment in society as well as the workplace. If you would like to learn more about diversity and inclusion, inclusive leadership or how to speak about empathy, emotional/mental health issues do check out www.serein.in. If you would like to conduct – gender awareness training – diversity and inclusion training – unconscious bias training – mental and emotional wellbeing trainings in the workplace do drop us a line at email@example.com