Arts & Healing: Conversations in South Africa – the movie


In 2011, graduate students from the George Washington University’s Art Therapy program traveled to Bokamoso and spent two weeks providing art therapy experiences to the children and youth participating in the Bokamoso youth program.

That year, 2011, Derek Fowler, a professional videographer and Becky Jacobson, a graduate art therapy student, began working on a documentary film project focusing on arts and healing at Bokamoso. Becky’s work, which focused on the important issues facing South Africa’s youth living in the township, eventually was the basis for her culminating project and her graduate degree. This project included an IRB aproved study and has helped to inform the creation of culturally-relevant interventions at Bokamoso.

In 2014, George Washington University Art Therapy professor Tally Tripp, accompanied by teaching assistant Becky Jacobson and videographer Derek Fowler, traveled again to Bokamoso along with a group of 13 art therapy, psychology and counseling students and expanded upon the work begun in 2011. Under the direction of a local artist, Vusumuzi Mtakwende, the group engaged in several large community mural projects commemorating the strengths and values of the Bokamoso Life Center. In the weeks that followed 2 weeks of student internships, Tally, Becky and Derek travelled throughout South Africa meeting with artists, art therapists and community workers to better understand the expressive arts community.

In September of 2015, a documentary film based on these experiences entitled ‘Arts & Healing: Conversations in South Africa’ produced by Derek Fowler and Becky Jacobson will be completed. Numerous film festivals around the country have expressed interest in screening the film in the fall and the film, still in progress, will be screened at the Bokamoso Life Center this summer (2015).

To find out more about this film and project, please visit:

© 2015 Derek Fowler Productions, LLC