Telling Their Stories Without Words

August 2018
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Women in Cameroon have lived in silence, lacking the supportive environment to disclose to the world their experiences of trauma. Their voices were released in a process of opening up that did not require words. The life-rope, typically a narrow strip of fabric, on to which other fabrics, ribbons, buttons, beads and/or found objects are tied, becomes a vehicle for the Appreciative Voice, as it provides a means to convey tales of personal events as a tactile timeline of a person’s life and experience, allowing the person to speak without words.


Author: Marge Malwitz

Marge Malwitz, creator of the Life-Rope, is a Connecticut studio artist, illustrator, speaker, teacher-educator, mentor, encourager, international worker and mobilizer. For the last 20 years, she has brought art projects and experiences into faith-based and humanitarian groups on five continents. Marge has trained and mentored others to teach the Life-Rope as well as other creative ways to tell one’s story. Contact:

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Author: Loretta Donovan

Loretta L. Donovan has been an Appreciative Inquiry scholar/practitioner for two decades. She has written about the relevance of Transformative Learning to AI. Among her numerous areas of study and attention are women’s studies, narrative medicine, and the positive engagement of patients, clinicians and leaders in healthcare. Contact:

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