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Dr. Lamya Tawfik

Dr. Lamya Tawfik

Dr. Lamya holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo and a Doctorate Degree in Childhood Studies from the Mass Communication and Child Culture Department, Institute for Postgraduate Childhood Studies at Ain Shams University in Cairo. She is a certified Holistic Integrated Creative Arts Therapies Practitioner and is currently training to be a Kids Life Coach. Dr. Lamya Tawfik is an Egyptian performing artist with an interest in Children's development and culture. She is an actress and storyteller and presenter. Her performing arts journey started in 2009. Since then she has performed in English, Arabic and Italian with several theater groups in Dubai. As a storyteller, she has performed in many children's events, storytelling festivals and also told stories at the Sharjah International Book Fair and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Media literacy meets creative art therapies: Exploring the use of an artistic modality to mediate children’s excessive screen time

Excessive screen time amongst children is a major concern for parents and mental health practitioners alike. The long hours that children spend with the company of their devices has been linked to issues such as obesity, sleep problems, and anxiety, not to mention the deterioration of their interpersonal skills.

The prevalent use of devices as "electronic babysitters", the common sight of the family around the dinner table each on their own device, and the subsequent “addiction” of children and adolescents, is indeed a cause of concern; but is one that must be tackled with an approach that is rooted in reality – the devices are here to stay.

In 1977, Marie Winn wrote a book called ‘The Plug-in Drug’. She called television an “insidious narcotic” and said that “it reflects the needs of parents to find a convenient source of amusement for their children and a moment of quiet for themselves.” A year later, another book, "Four Arguments of Why TV Should be Eliminated" echoed Winn’s sentiments. The author, Jerry Mander, said TV “must be gotten rid of totally if our society is to return to something like sand and democratic functioning’. Television stayed and here we are, nearly five decades later, finding a similar, albeit less intense, rhetoric being used with electronic devices and its effects on children.

If there is anything that we have learned, it is that there is no turning back from technological advancement, nor can we look away from its effects. What we can, and should do, is to use the media to teach children about the world, to develop their critical thinking skills and to develop their creativity. Enter: Media Literacy. According to the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE): Media literacy empowers individuals to navigate the complex media landscape, make informed decisions and actively participate in creating media content.

This workshop will focus on the latter – creating media content. We will do that by merging this important element of media literacy with some of the fundamentals of creative art therapies – using artistic expression to promote healing, self-discovery, and emotional well-being. In short, we will explore a modality that can be taught to parents to transform their young children’s screen time experience into a window of creativity, exploration, and self-expression. We will look into the different ways that parents mediate their children’s media experiences and how they can be coached to be part of the experience and not passive bystanders.

NOTE: attendance at this workshop will be limited to 40 delegates. Admission to the workshop will be on a first come, first serve basis on the day, with priority given to Professional Delegates (if any spaces are available, these will be offered to HWU and non-HWU Student Delegates).

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