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Dolly Sen writes about the importance of DAO

I got an email from Colin a few weeks ago with a few questions as to what value I got from Disability Arts Online. I typed a few short answers, as I was hyper and couldn't dictate my own voice as it was swallowed up by many others, and poor Colin would have to have decipher it like lost words in a word search.

My brain is a bit calmer so I can give a fuller reply to the importance of DAO 

As a person within the disability arts scene and Mad Pride movement, I question identity and societal discrimination and oppression within my practice, as to why I expected to assume the role of pathetic burden. Instead I laughed at the stupidity of oppressive thinking, by parodying discrimination by turning it back on itself where these views can be shown to be as ridiculous as they are. There is no apology for being myself needed.

A lot of culture and society wants to put us in our place, to fulfil the role as ‘the other’, as tragic, brave, a burden, or ugly. The arts, especially disability arts, is in the best position to question, highlight, critique, or force the issue around the oppression and creating our own identities and agendas. And as an artist myself, it is great opportunity to celebrate my difference. It is the right arena for beautiful subversion, to show how oppression is pathetic, cowardly, and a self-defeating burden to itself.

I see disability arts as an opportunity to develop ways to reclaim identity from a mercenary, judgemental world that has abused it.

Being part of Disability Arts Online, I see a systemic refusal to assimilate into a broken, degrading process. Asking us to be normal is asking too little of us. 

Every political action, personal and social identity development and celebration, needs a history and a voice created by the people living it. As that well-known African proverb states: ‘Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.’ DAO is part of that necessary journey, a megaphone for the voice of the lion.

The aim can also be to ask questions, the more awkward the better, and in that way connect some isolated dots on the disability arts landscape. Where is the relationship the strongest, and where is it the weakest? Can disability arts be absorbed into a model? Should it be absorbed into a model? Doesn’t creativity function better as an organic, free process rather than having to bat against the walls of some model? How effective is the affirmation model within the context of disability arts? How effective is disability arts at effecting change, or influencing disability theory? How many people with the disability arts world are aware of disability theory?  What is it about some aspects of disability arts at its most political that doesn’t apologise for being different, and what can be distilled from that to inform disability theory? What power do these artists have within a disabling society?

Hopefully DAO will help inform and inspire what is next in terms of the future of disability theory and disability arts. Identity is fluid, what is the river we are being pushed down, what arrests the flow, where will we end up? We don't know what is around the corner, but I for one, will be its fellow traveller until I finally walk into the sun. 

DAO provides the backing music, we as artists must provide the dancesteps to  make it a graceful union that inspires the world to move into the direction of equality, till our song is the song of humanity and not feeling pushed away from it. 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 31 December 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 5 January 2013

This Diverse Perspective is looking for the heart of Portugal Prints

 My mind is sunshine distilled through a bed of nails, shining but hard to hold, especially also when the skin feels like shifting sands, and the soul and its perceptions seem like a mirage. 

What is grounding me and connecting me to the world are lots of artistic projects. There is a new one on the horizon: I will be part of a project, still in its infancy, that hopes to explore unusual mental states and film, which will be launched in March 2013 at the Barbican, where one of my films will be shown. 

But the thing at the moment that is stroking and calming my amphetamised wings is making this film of Portugal Prints for Diverse Perspectives, commissioned by DAO and the Royal Academy. 

When I researched the film, I went to visit Portugal Prints at one of their bases in Soho. The first thing that hits you is the warmth of the place, you are instantly accepted as family. So I decided to make a film exploring the heart of Portugal Prints. I am very near the end of making the film, just two more days of filming next week. I have already filmed their haiku event at the Tate Modern; I have interviewed Kate Horbury, the ex-access officer of the Royal Academy, about her love affair with Portugal Prints; and I have filmed a linocut printing workshop at the Royal Academy, run by the artist Phil Baird and the amazingly named Becky Jelly, which was attended by Portugal Print members who created some beautiful stuff. 

The crux of the film though will be the filming next week, where I will film at the Soho base and interview members about art, mental health, and the heart, which for so many has been told to shrink, but where at Portugal Prints, you see the greenhouse of hearts grow.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 8 December 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 9 December 2012

Blogging Workshop and the Shameless Promotion of Lux the Dog

 I was asked by Creative Futures to guest speak at a blogging workshop run by our very own Colin Hambrook. I don't claim to be a blogging expert, but I enjoy it and have learned over the years its power and its lessons. I am glad I was asked because it made me think about my process, and why I like it so much. I distilled most of what I discovered about blogging into a powerpoint presentation. I think it is self explanatory. Except for maybe the pic of Lux, my dog. I try to slip my muse into everything, and have managed to slip her into every powerpoint I have done in the last few years, see my subversive powerpoint, as an example. Although when I am teaching psychiatrists, they see it as a symptom of my madness, I see them not getting it as a symptom of theirs. I do hope when lux does a powerpoint, she slips in a photo of me! 

 

Note from Lux the dog: I do plan to do a powerpoint on doggy creativity and the tyranny of humanism in art. I might slip in a photo of Dolly, it depends. 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 22 October 2012

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 22 October 2012

Haiku for Mental Health Day at the Tate Modern.

 On October the 13th, as part of DAO 'Diverse Perspectives' Programme, I will be filming the Mental Health Day event at the Tate Modern. My film is about Portugal Prints . They are awesome and amazing and inspiring, and it will be a honour to follow them around for the day, filming their Haiku event.


This is what they say of their event:

The Haiku Festival 2012 is a pilot online social media event developed by Westminster Mind’s art project Portugal Prints. On Saturday the 13th October 2012 between 1.00pm and 5.30pm we will be holding a public event at Tate Modern where people can participate in writing their own verse (there will be a selection of beautiful handmade papers to choose from) are creating your own images, which will then be strung to an installation along with some of the best Tweets. There is already media interest in the event so anyone who is intending to join us who maybe photophobic should wear their ‘Free Pussy Riot’ balaclavas.

If you can't attend this free event, you can twitter your haikus to @Haiku_2012

 

This is my haiku, inspired by the upcoming event:

On Mental Health Day

I capture the poetry

Of Portugal Prints

 

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 30 September 2012

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 30 September 2012

Poetic Responses to Outsider Artist - Mark Gertler

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail.

This is my poetic response to Mark Gertler's 'Near Swanage'.

Painting sublime scenes
But not seeing loveliness
I have to create beauty
To drown the ugliness
Behind my eyes, all
The horror I have seen
And known, and cannot
Blink away; my eyelids
Are broken wings.

The edge of the brushstroke
Is the battlefield
Will the war for my soul
Be won?

Can I scar the canvas
With enough grace
To save the world
Behind it?

Can I make the world
Beautiful enough
To save my soul?

I want to save my soul.
Will the world let me?

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 19 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 September 2012

My piece at Shape's 'Perception of Balance' exhibition

I received the good news that one of my pieces was accepted for the Perceptions of Balance Exhibition at Shape Arts.   My piece is called ‘Balanced Mind’

I have been labeled ‘mad’ by society, so therefore seen as unbalanced. Society’s way of redressing that is not to help me make sense of the childhood trauma that triggered my psychosis, nor to tackle inequality and discrimination in society because of that label. Its way was to medicate me into submission. For decades I was on antipsychotic medication. I did not laugh or cry on these meds. Is this well balanced? It took away my symptoms but my life too. Is that a fair payoff, a balanced payoff?

A tablet does not cure abuse, isolation, or stigma. But I was sedated, out of society’s hair. They said the tablets would make me feel better. Please define better when I have lost my soul. Maybe you don’t need a soul nowadays. 

The message: don’t speak your mind. Your silence and submission are signs of being well-balanced.

So my art shows that the medication weighs heavier, and the promise of peace of mind, of having my life back is an empty promise, not worth the prescription pad it is written on.

I have given up the meds and regained my life. Some may say that shows I am unbalanced. I say it makes perfect sense. 

There is a private view of the exhibition on the 20th Sept. 

Date: Thursday 20th September 
Time: 6pm 
Location: Shape. Deane House Studios, 27 Grenwood Place, London NW5 1LB

Please RSVP to jenny@shapearts.org.uk and let us know if you have any access requirements.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 5 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 9 September 2012

Family album - thanks to psychosis

I don't know how many people share this experience, but I am a bi-realitist. Having the intense, divergent mind psychosis brings but able to comprehend the world of consensual reality, albeit a bit strangely, and in an off the wall way.

But sometimes one overpowers the other: when the psychotic side does it, I am compelled to create art to exorcise; when the 'normal' side does it, I am compelled to create lists. I needed to create this piece of art, and now I feel haunted by one less ghost.

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 22 August 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 August 2012

Within WIthout You - an Outsider Art Exhibition and blog

I will be exhibiting at the Within Without You Exhibition, as part of the the Bath Fringe Festival. The exhibition was the brainchild of Brian Robert Gibson, whom I met at some Outsider In training, and with some other artists who are part of Outsider In www.outsidein.org.uk/, plus a few from further afield, this exhibiton and blog came about to explore what it is to be an outsider.

As Brian says himself, this event is 'a space to explore where we are placed and where we place ourselves within any given spectrum.'  

The exhibition with be at: The Pet Store, 7 Upper Borough Walls, Bath, Avon BA1 1QR
25th May-10th June 2012 - 10am-6pm
Private View: Fri 25th May 6-9pm

The blog for the event, which showcases art and words from the outsider artists themselves, is at withinwithoutyou.info/

Here is an example of one of my poems from the blog:

LITHIUM SUN
You say my sun shines too bright,
but if you have had the dark clouds I’ve had,
you could give nothing less.
Yes, sometimes the sun blinds others.
But with it, I can just about see where I am going.

You can turn off the light if you want, you have the power.
You can give me back the dark room.
But once in there, you ask me to leave that too.

1000 watt or nothingness is me, I guess.
You can force the 50 watt on me, but it doesn’t fit the slot.
I have tried pushing it in; my soul is torn to prove it.

Until you change your light into one that fits,
one that shines and doesn’t laugh at dreams,
let me shine my way, until I can see where I am going,
and the sun can rest behind the trees.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 4 April 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 7 April 2012

Dolly Sen's Subversive Powerpoint

 Powerpoint is probably one of the most unsubversive mediums around, it is used 40,000 times a day to tell people what to do, I thought I would reverse the trend a tiny bit by creating a subversive powerpoint.

It all came about when I was part of  the Sync Leadership  www.syncleadership.com and coaching scheme. It really helped me find my focus regarding my arts practice. I was asked to do a presentation at a conference on my subversive career, and Sarah Pickthall, my coach, loved the idea of the powerpoint to accompany it, because she knew I would think it my moral duty to subvert such a dull medium, so here it is! 

www.slideshare.net/cuspinchic/subversivepowerpoint-11201952#

Posted by Dolly Sen, 24 January 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 5 January 2013

Dolly Sen's artistic response to the condem's treatment of disabled people

This artwork is an artistic response to the condem's treatment of disabled people. The two incendiary expressions of the piece that both the distortion of facts and blood of the inevitable suicides are in the hands of the condem's.

My next piece in the series will just be a blank canvas with the word: 'BASTARDS!'

Posted by Dolly Sen, 24 September 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 5 January 2013

Dolly Sen will present a paper at Currents In the Mainstream Conference

On September 22nd I will be presenting a paper at the 'In the Mainstream' conference at De Montfort University, Leicester, organised by The MeCCSA Disability Studies Network.

The  conference aims to re-visit and re-evaluate the complex issues at stake in contemporary representations of disability and impairment from a variety of critical perspectives, investigating both continuities and new trends in representing disability

My presentation will be on my experience as both a ‘mad’ filmmaker and a ‘mad’ documentary subject. This unique position has made me sensitive to how documentary-makers use ethics and objectivity in their films, because time and time again in broadcast media I have been squashed into a box of their preconceptions and prejudices, and the essence of who I am is lost.

And as a film-maker making films about mental health, where it isn’t to be pitied, feared, or used to alienate, scare, and antagonize, I have come up against ignorance and hostility from commissioners and other film-makers, who think I am exhibiting ‘symptoms’ of mental illness by saying that there are other ways to view mental distress and difference than the medical model. It has definitely been an interesting experience. I would also like to touch upon Mad Culture.

As a mad person, am I one-dimensional, visually different, soulless, with only evil in my heart? Am I person to be feared? To be pitied? To be laughed at? Am I not allowed to be loved? Am I not allowed to be sexy? I want to be represented on the screen as nothing less than who I am. Is it possible?

Posted by Dolly Sen, 18 August 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 5 January 2013

Dolly Sen pays tribute to Amita Patel

I am well aware of the statistic that states one in ten people with serious mental health difficulties will commit suicide. But statistics are for the safe and sound, statistics turn human hearts into empty numbers.

They don't say one in ten people are failed by the mental health service, they don't say one in ten sensitive, kind hearts couldn't take any more of the cruelty and selfishness of the world, or that one in ten talented, artistic people will no longer create.

Two lovely people, two fellow artists, two fellow fighters of the system, two people who I had the hugest respect for, ended their lives in the last few weeks. It has done two things: it has both stoked the fire that will keep me fighting for equality; but it has also left me cold.

Amita Patel was both a writer and an activist. We both shared a love of writing, and when it came to protest the closing down of a culturally sensitve service, I held the left pole of the placard, and she held the right. Survivors Poetry have paid tribute to her on their website

One in ten thoughts will kill you, one in ten people will love you, one in ten words will sing you song, Goodbye friends.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 16 August 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 20 August 2010

Dolly Sen on Soap and Sync

Hey guys, sorry for the delay in the blogging. It is ironic that at the Sync SouthEast event on the 21 July I said you should keep updating your blog regularly... it should be as regular as Eastenders. Well, I haven't kept it up because my life has actually become Eastenders.

The Sync South East event was amazing, uplifting and a definite though-provoker, because the event was on the day the government announced 50% cuts in the arts. I wish the Government ministers involved in such a decision could have attended the event to see the impact and power of the arts, and how they make the human soul feel. Well, the human soul has always been problematic to politicians. Like I have said before, for some of us our creativity doesn't come from fiddling and fraud, nor our culture from shagging our PAs. 

The two things on that day that have stayed with me, apart from meeting so many wonderful people was seeing the passionate sounds of Stingray. They rounded off the day with style, funkiness and joy de vivre.

I also met a fellow artist Neal Pearce. We talked about bipolar and creativity and how the bipolar mind sees unique connections where before there were no connections. And when that is put down on paper, the only label that will fit is art, because it hasn't been created before.

One of his artworks Page 60, Book 12 of the Infinite Codex, is his own invented alphabet, mayan-like but at the same time unique, haunting, and so far without definition and meaning, but you don't need words to know that it is beautiful. These symbols are yet without sounds, but I could hear them sing their song on my way home to London. The funniest thing that happened on that day was people's surprise that my persona on DAO is not invented, and that I am indeed larger than life in person!

 

So what is my soap opera? Well, in the space of a month have graduated, been made homeless by the shenanigans of my ex, lost 2 friends to suicide, and been told by my girlfriend she is expecting twins. I am already in love with the two dots in the scan!

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 14 August 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 5 January 2013

You know you are normal when...

 I actually don't like mind normal people, I just don't like normal fundamentalists. I published this a few years back, and the hatemail I got because of it astounded me. How dare I make fun of normal people, although these labels of 'mad' and 'normal' are invented labels and human being is good enough for everyone. Or that I am satirising the unthinking tenets of what normality seems to be.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 9 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 7 February 2012

Dolly Sen gives a definition of mad culture

What is Mad Culture?

It is a celebration of the creativity of mad people, and pride in our unique way of looking at life, our internal world externalised and shared with others without shame, as a valid way of life.

It is an acknowledgement that we are reacting to a society that is scared of us and will hijack our art and literature once our artists and writers are dead and therefore deemed safe and easy to control, corrupt and capitalise.

Our culture is that we have control of our lives without being brutalised by a psychiatric system that wants us to conform to an ideal of normality that doesn’t exist anyway. It is challenging the idea that madness is something to be hidden; it realises that visibility counts in order to break the stigma that has a stranglehold over every single mad person alive today. Mad Culture is saying, ‘Yes, yes!” to life even if embarrasses the ‘normals’.

Mad Culture is saying: I won’t hold your sanity against you. My reality is good enough. Is yours? Not all mad people are artistic, some are quite happy to be accountants, and I don’t think mad accountants should be discriminated against.

We are already an alienated sector of society, in fact the most alienated sector of society. We are not full members of this society or culture and that is not going to change without us changing it. Because why is it in their interest to change what makes them feel comfortable and superior. So in that sense we need to create our own culture in which we feel comfortable in. Some would argue that leads to separation, but we are separate. Where does madness fit in ‘normal culture’?

We are the untouchables. Only fit enough to work in sheltered workshops, to be cleaners, media scapegoats and to paint multi-million pound masterpieces. Put simply, in this present culture we have victim status; in our culture, we are just ourselves. WE want a culture that doesn’t produce a suicide every 40 seconds.

Why have pride about suffering distress, some may say? It’s not about that. It is pride in our strength to survive that distress and what it teaches us, and not to feel like lesser beings because of it, and to question why we feel lesser beings because of it, to question that madness is an illness and not a human response to a sick society, a sick upbringing.

Can you imagine a world without music, art, dance and drama? It would be an empty, bland place. So why is the world without your music, art, dance and drama? If life is a stage, is yours worth watching? What would make the show better? Can we change the ending? Or make it a better story? Culture is letting us tell the story not them – it is as simple as that.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 3 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 5 January 2013

Dolly Sen is addicted to making new websites

I have 2 new websites set up, I am dogsitting at the moment, so I can't really cause havoc in my public as I usually do, so I am stuck inside, so what to do with my time? Well, I am painting, writing, and creating websites like there is no tomorrow.

My new visual art website has a gallery of painting, drawing and graphic works.

And to ensure better search engine optimisation (SEO) I have created another blog about how I started my career as a professional mad person.

I intend to create blogs for all aspects of my life. Whether I stick to them, though, is another matter. As a pretend human being I have to pretend to be fickle.

Dollyxxx

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 2 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 2 July 2010

Dolly Sen on poetry and the darkness of the soul

I am mostly a happy go lucky person, with a certain cheekiness. I hope when people meet me, they detect the light in me. But I haven't had an easy life, as I have dealt with extreme abuse as a child, and its consequent madness and pain.

Over the period of decades, my madness went from darkness to a strange light with some lapses into the shadows. The soul must do its work, dip into the shadows to see why they are there, and try to remove the caustic monoliths that cast them.

I do not want to bring these shadows into my meetings with other people. They come out in my art and poetry. And so these shadows scatter into the smaller shadows of letters and words. Sometimes they make sense. Sometimes they are cathartic. Sometimes they are an incitement to immerse myself more in the shadows. But I won't step deeper - one poem at a time. I like the light too much...

 

Friction
The friction of life
On skinless hope
The kisses of love
Bleach lost flesh
I don’t mind
My new scars
Protect me
From the sweetest breezes


Everything that has touched me
Has left its imprint
Of boot kicks and butterflies

I am raw sculpture
Still unmade
Yet I refuse to let
The softest part of me
Turn to stone
I can’t even cry

Tears are inflammatory
My mind immolates
Kills itself with fire

There is not enough water in my dreams
There is not enough ice in my sleep

Spit on me

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 1 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 2 July 2010

Dolly Sen writes a poem while waiting for the gasman under a Lithium Sun -

Am waiting for the gasman to make an appearance at my mum's so they can fix her boiler, I have done my work for the day, so instead of twiddling my thumbs, I did a bit of writing about bipolar. I was inspired by my friend Lynn Harrison posting 'Lithium' by Nirvana on her FaceBook page.

LITHIUM SUN
You say my sun shines too bright,
but if you have had the dark clouds I've had,
you could give nothing less.
Yes, sometimes the sun blinds others.
But with it, I can just about see where I am going.

You can turn off the light if you want, you have the power.
You can give me back the dark room. 
But once in there, you ask me to leave that too.

1000 watt or nothingness is me, I guess. 
You can force the 50 watt on me, but it doesn't fit the slot.
I have tried pushing it in; my soul is torn to prove it.

Until you change your light into one that fits,
one that shines and doesn't laugh at dreams,
let me shine my way, until I can see where I am going,
and the sun can rest behind the trees.

 

Hey up folks - my friend Dawn Willis has written an Open Letter to Stigmatising Mental Health Charities on her Wordpress blog

Posted by Dolly Sen, 22 April 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 April 2010

Doctor who hears voices film night

Fundraiser Event at the Candid Arts Trust
6th November 2009

screening of Leo Regan/The Doctor who Hears Voices with Q/A with Doctor and the protagonist Rufus May

This is to raise money for a documentary on psychosis by Dolly Sen

www.idomind.org.uk

Starts at 19.00 2 Torrens Street, London, EC1V 1NQ

(Right behind Angel tube station)

Posted by Dolly Sen, 28 October 2009

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 28 October 2009

Dolly Sen says:

I DO MIND FILMS presents ‘voices from a strange land’

Lurking behind tabloid interest in the mental health crises of celebrities is a vast unease around mental ill-health. The everyday stigmatisation of the Mad affects everyone. Films about madness are usually made by people who have not been there.

Dolly Sen has been there, and is making a travelogue about a place few return from unscathed. Most films about madness turn us into something to be feared or vilified, it does not see the strength of the people who go through it daily and still manage to stand. This film hopes to address that aspect. The film seeks to be a work of art, but also to help dispel the ignorance around this subject matter. The Candid Arts Trust in Angel, London is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for this important film on the experience of psychosis on September 8th 2009 with a night of film music, words, comedy and massage.

Date: Tuesday 8th Sept 2009
Venue: The Projection Room, Candid Arts Trust, 3 Torrens Street, London, EC1V 1NQ
Travel: Angel Tube, & Buses
Time: 6pm to 9.30pm
Price: £5
Contact: dollysen70@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.idomind.org.uk/id6.html & http://www.candidarts.com/

Line Up 8 September
3 films about psychosis Dolly Sen – MC

Rai Studley writes about life, love, madness and the little things inside her head that refuse to be silenced. Playing a mix of acoustic guitar-based tunes and some truly breathtaking acapella, her songs have a habit of touching something deep inside you. http://www.myspace.com/raistudleymusic

Madeleine Bridgett is a poet based in Brighton, UK. Born in Sydney, Australia, she worked as a social worker for many years advocating for very marginalised and vulnerable groups of people living on the fringes of society. Having presented at both national and international conferences, Madeleine has been involved in creating change to improve the quality of life for many people.

Madeleine moved to the UK in 2004 and began a career writing and performing poetry. Her poetry is inspired by people and she is fascinated by the human condition. In 2006 she produced her own live chat show which gets filmed for internet broadcast.

Liz Bentley is a mother, writer, poet, musician and therapist. She has been working on the stand up poetry circuit for 6 years. Her experiences include 3 successful shows at the Edinburgh Fringe (last year performing, programming and hosting over 50 shows in Edinburgh’s only swimming pool venue (in the pool!) with artists including John Hegley, Robin Ince, Luke Wright to name but a few). She has hosted and performed at disability events such as DaDaFest, Liberty, Boundless and at mainstream festivals such as Latitude festival, Reading and Birmingham comedy festivals.

“Definitely one of my Fringe highlights” Three Weeks *****
“Like a female Ivor Cutler” The Scotsman
“Bentley is beguiling. Such an exhilarating experience” Chortle

AND MORE TO COME!!! Vjing by the PIMPS OF PERCEPTION

Massage by Paula Bailey

If you cant come, but would like to donate go to http://www.idomind.org.uk/id6.htm
Contact details: Dolly Sen dollysen70@hotmail.com

Posted by Dolly Sen, 30 August 2009

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 7 September 2009

Dolly Sen will be reading from a tree top in Regents Park, London!

Survivor's poetry and music - Mad Chicks and the Bath Mad Hatters
Budding Hub Gallery, Fri 28th August 2009 6:00pm - 8:00pm

A multi-faceted cornucopia of readings, talks and sound performances around the works of those who have suffered from mental illness from Mad Chicks and the Bath Mad Hatters. Mad Chicks is about women psychiatric patients and survivors of the psychiatric system. The movement developed from within Mad Pride, a user-led mental health civil rights movement, committed to ending discrimination against psychiatric patients, challenging misinformation in relation to mental health and celebrating mad culture. Clare Crestani of the Mad Hatters of Bath will tell real life stories of lands beyond time and space, where fairies and demons dwell. Followed by a discussion of whether the psychotic experience is a valid way to discover Universal truths or merely a mental illness to be druggged, pitied and patronised.

I will reading from my book in a tree, I always knew I'd one day do that. Told you Doc, it wasn't a delusion!

For more info about the treehouse gallery go to http://www.thetreehousegallery.org

Posted by Dolly Sen, 27 August 2009

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 28 August 2009

Dolly Sen says 'life has been normal - this must change!'

hey there guys, the last month I have been mostly in front of my computer, fundraising and form filling, and there's nothing to report about that, except it seems easier to write a book than fill out a funding application. The only time I have left the house is to go scouting for locations for my Trapped Birds documentary or meeting with my lovely producer Nora Somogyvari, a fellow LCC student and native of Hungary. She has been amazing, and has brought a lot of Hungarian crew to the project, which I am excited about.

One of the things we are working on is a film fundraiser at Candid Arts in Angel London, where she works. Will let you know when it is finalised what the details are. We also went Angel hunting at Stoke Newington Cemetery for use in the film.

Apart from that, I have been a normal human being, enduring normal pain of bereavement and mourning (My grandad and cousin). Have fallen in lust with someone (poor them) and am moaning about the weather. I almost feel like part of the human race!

One thing of note, my madness is going international. I have just done an interview for Arab tv (Al Arabiya) and am helping a Japanese Production Company make a film about mental health. I would love to do a world tour eventually. Hee hee.

I also went to London Pride, which was good fun. I think there should be a disability arts presence there next year. Well, the Catholics and Conservatives were there. And I don't want to march on my own.

Ah, life is never normal, it is a star dancing on snowflake that is stuck up the nose of a monkey that doesn't believe in stars.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 7 August 2009

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 16 August 2009

Raising money for documentary on psychosis

I was over the moon to get picked to direct a documentary on psychosis as my graduation for university, but now it is the dirty business of raising funds. I want to raise unrestricted funds, in that the usual suspects who fund these kind of films are medical based, and I want to get away from the medical model.

So here are the details of what I want to do:
A synopsis of the idea It is a self-reflexive documentary about the experience of psychosis, focusing on the sensory aspect of it but also touching upon delusion. The film will be partly experiential in that through the film the viewer will hear voices and see visual hallucinations, but also how it affects people who have psychosis, their sense of identity, perception, and communication. It is a documentary that has no claims to objectivity which absorbs drama and art because by its very nature psychosis is not a reality shared.

Why you want to make this film?
I have personal experience of psychosis, and want to show what it is like as accurately as I can, and make the viewer experience it in is some small way, so as to gain a better understanding of it. There is the scientific element to the experience and want to use this documentary why so many people who go through it do not see it as an illness, and are resistant to scientific intervention. Because it isn’t necessary a negative experience. After the 1000th ride of this burning mental carnival, you start to see something else. You see, as the train rides upward, you get closer to the stars than everyone else. You hear music that no-one else hears, your soul makes its own symphonies when everyone else has to buy their song. You see psychosis can be magic at times, but it is a precocious and precarious magic. You have to be careful, you have to make sure you can put yourself back together when you saw yourself in half. Houdini did on the physical plane what mad people do mentally every single day – to very little applause. Some people see weakness, I see immense strength in those who are still standing. This is rarely touched upon in films on psychosis. I want to humanize what is seen as unfairly pathological. When the ‘real’ world is full of bills, unkindness, wars and stigma, staying in psychosis is very seductive. I would also like to highlight why so many people in psychotic crisis slip through the net and commit suicide; crisis care in this country asks you to pick up the phone when you are also hearing voices, and wait for hours in A&E whilst you are experiencing an emotional and mental apocalypse being actually surrounded by bleeding, crying, broken-boned people. Mental health services ask people in distress to swim the Channel when they are already drowning. I want the film to provide a challenging argument to those who want to maintain things as it is.

I want this film to stand as a work of art but I know from my work in mental health this kind of film would be invaluable for mental health professionals to understand better the people who they are trying to help, and in their training. But also to dispel ignorance about this aspect of mental health generally.

So if you are able to donate just even a fiver, thats cool. You can do it by going to http://www.idomind.org.uk/id6.html  or in kind support is cool too. love Dollyx

Posted by Dolly Sen, 29 June 2009

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 5 July 2009