JTPP Vol. 2, No. 1 (July 2019) Article # 8


Deals with the human costs of social conflict on institutions, communities and the public good which seems to be slowly eroding


Restoring Trust in the Self through Failure: An Exploration of Singing as Reflective Practice and its Role in Nonviolent Social Change

Lauren Michelle Levesque (Assistant Professor in the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality at Saint-Paul University, Ottawa, Canada)

This paper explores singing as a practice that opens spaces to reflect on the emotional and social costs of ‘failure’ in our roles as advocates for nonviolent social change.

Inspired by auto-ethnographic research on singing and song writing as reflective practice, the author asks: Can singing create spaces to re-imagine ‘failure’ as a catalyst for renewed thinking on nonviolent social change in times of social conflict? The connection between singing and nonviolence is not new; however, the author argues that creating and documenting singing practices can open up reflections on the ways in which these practices shift perceptions of ‘failure’ that can accompany the work of advocating for change at multiple levels: individual, communal and institutional.

Addressing these perceptions can encourage creative engagements with failure as a stigmatised, yet productive space that bridges theory and practice. Such creative engagements include conceptualising critical self-reflexivity as a fundamental dimension of restoring trust in our own capacities to advance nonviolence in our classrooms and communities.

Honourable Association