Creative Soups for the Soul: Stories of Community Recovery in Talca, Chile, After the 2010 Earthquake
This study, conducted in Talca, Chile, a year and a half after a massive natural disaster, focused on creative thinking and art production as manifestations of resilience. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants through community leaders and programs. Ten survivors whose houses were damaged or destroyed during the 2010 earthquake were willing to participate in semi-structured interviews that included verbal narratives and an art response. Systematic analysis illuminated conscious and latent psychological content. Three overarching themes were identified as central to survivors´ recovery process and were then contrasted with data from New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, exploring universality and contextual factors in post disasters´ creativity and resilience. Specifically, in Talca, the creation of craft for sale, instead of art making for emotional expression in New Orleans, was observed; idealism and future-oriented thinking were heightened in Talca, while humor and spirituality seemed more pronounced in New Orleans; and connections to natural surroundings in Talca were juxtaposed with New Orleans´ residents´ strong neighborhood affiliations and cultural festivities.