Healing the Spirit: an autoethnographic research of survival through transmutation

Carter, Jennifer and Carey, Melissa ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2392-173X (2021) Healing the Spirit: an autoethnographic research of survival through transmutation. In: Contemporary Ethnography Across Disciplines 2021: Research that Matters, 10 Nov - 12 Nov 2021, Auckland, New Zealand.


Healing the Spirit an autoethnographic research of transformation and survival Liberation is the act of setting free from internal and social oppression (Afuape, 2011). In 2019, it was the Liberation Trail fire that raged through our place, turning the living essence of our livelihood, and belonging to dust. The dust had barely settled when the torrential rains drenched the remains, weeping over the ashes. These ashes were not just of things, houses, furniture, but also trees, ferns, and animals of all sizes. Next, it was isolation and fear that arose from the ashes in the form of Coronavirus (COVID-19 virus). Isolating people from the natural environment and each other.

Through these transmutations, we relied upon the resilient nature of the human spirit to survive. This autoethnographic story explores human resilience in the face of personal and global loss. The power of storytelling is an ancient tradition, stemming from a human need to make meaning of the lived experience. Each person who tells a story speaks from their ‘biographical position’ and is unique as the storyteller (Denzin, 2014). Stories, or narratives, assisted in the survival of cultures by retelling warnings of potential threats. They are intrinsic to all cultures, whether they are written or verbal. The act of storytelling can impart a metaphysical presence that can provide a sense of spirituality in the communication process (Snyder & Lindquist, 2006; Uys, 2014). Storytelling has been described as an expression of human consciousness and, as such, can guide the person towards healing the spirit and liberating from trauma (Carter, 2019).

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Virtual conference.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 - )
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 06:15
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 00:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: healing, trauma, resilience, storytelling
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111005 Mental Health Nursing
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220399 Philosophy not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420606 Social determinants of health
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing
C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1301 Arts > 130103 The creative arts
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130205 Visual communication
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/46954

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