A mirror box has been built for someone who lost one of her hands. If she puts one hand into the mirror box and starts flexing it, the reflection creates two hands. She experiences having two hands. The mirror box provides relief from the horrible pain in her frozen phantom hand.
A soldier returns from war without a right arm, he too is experiencing phantom limb pain. His missing arm is stuck in an excruciating spasm. When a person who has both arms sits opposite that soldier and receives a massage on the mirrored arm, the solder's phantom limb gets relief.
This mirror effect in the body happens when we see someone cry or fall, or to anyone who does arm-chair quarterbacking.
What happens to "other" actually IS happening to you. In the act of annihilating "other" - empathy is a liability.
My father survived the holocaust and the annihilation of his family. I was raised in the Deep South during "desegregation." As a young girl, I was challenged by these experiences and awakened to a mission to seek out the causes of conflict and do something about them. These challenges became my great benefit when I discovered the arts, creative activism and the enriching empathic mirroring experience housed in the theatre.
Storytelling opens and reveals who we truly are -- a single being with many faces. The theatre is a mirror box reflecting back to us the many parts we can play.
In this mirror box, we can flex our phantom selves and we are offered an opportunity to become whole. Welcome to the mirror box. There is no justice without testimony. What happens to these women happens to us all.
Carry the World: Women and Peace is created and directed by Diana Castle.
North Belfast, Northern Ireland, October 2006. Allison Crowe, with her daughter Kelly, in their still-tense neighborhood despite the 2002 Peace Agreemetn meant to quell the decades long violence between Catholics and Protestants.
Peshawar, Pakistan, September 1988. At the end of the 10-year war between Afghanistan and the USSR, there were an estimated 100,000 Afghan war widows. Countless people were displaced and living in refugee camps along the border in Pakistan, including his girl and woman.
Columbus, Ohio, November 2005. Beckie Dixon, who son Christopher was the youngest Marine killed in Iraq on August 2005. He had just turned 18 a few months earlier. Photographed on Veteran's Day, wiht his memorial flag.
Tirana, Albania, May 1999. Elheme Veseli, a Kosovar Albanian refugee who was shot through the breast while fleeing Kosovo. She was separated from her husband and eight children. This photograph was taken in a hospital.