Expressing stories orally or through paintings and drawings can be an effective way to talk about experiences of the volcano. When used in this way, there is immense value is using narrative as a tool for data gathering and trust building. Our art facilitation workshops became spaces where local community members, ‘internal’ and ‘external’ scientists were able to make sense of their shared experiences, to share emotion, make sense of difficult times, of moments where life was at risk, or when the responsibility of interpreting the volcano was excruciating. This helped all the participants to create a sense of community, of shared knowledge and a common vision.
We have found this has opened up conversations about risk, and the experience of volcanic eruptions that might not otherwise have happened.