The Shadow Side of the City in the Work of the Soul: Refuse as Resource, Rejects as Raw Material

Janice Shapiro

When the call for papers for this conference reached me, I heard it as the herald’s call to adventure. The numinosity evoked by its very name, "Art and Psyche in the City,"  immediately quickened my heartbeat, and even the beat of my soul.

Among the multitude of images that appeared in my mind’s eye were those that belong to a difficult yet meaningful time that I spent in the city of Boston over 20 years ago.

Having left my home in Jerusalem to complete my Masters in Art Therapy at Lesley College in Boston, I initially found myself utterly disoriented in the streets, ill at ease in the elegant edifices, unable to connect – in short, totally lost.

We all know, at one time or another, at one level or another, this archetypal place where we are lost -- where we don’t belong, where we are misfits, threatened. As James Hillman aptly pointed out, each of us has inside us the image of our own back ward, where backward aspects of ourselves are put away. It was not the first time I had found myself in this abandoned place, but this time it was extreme.

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