Disability Arts Online

> > Dolly Sen

Dolly Sen is a writer, director, artist, filmmaker, poet, performer, playwright, mental health consultant, music-maker and public speaker. She has 8 published books since 2002; has taken on performance roles at The Young Vic, the Royal Festival Hall, and around Europe; undertaken a poetry tour; won a poetry award from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion; directed two plays and several TV films; and performed spoken word at City Hall and Oxford University.

So Mr Fry, where is the trigger warning for you being a twat?

13 April 2016

Blog

So Mr Fry, where is the trigger warning for you being a twat? I used to have respect for you. After your first BBC programme on bipolar, I noticed a sea change in that people were more open about talking about mental health. But from there things steadily deteriorated. You became a self-appointed spokesperson regarding mental health, despite not experiencing poverty, bad or no housing, benefit cuts, psychiatric abuse or trauma, which more recent studies show contribute to mental ill health and...

Comments: 6

a video of an art tour of my home

3 April 2016

Blog

Hello all,

I am moving out of London in a month or so, relocating to Norfolk. I am getting rid of some of my art, so I decided to make a short video of my art and home. So if you are interested in making an offer for anything, drop me an email at dollysen70@hotmail.com.

I will consider anything over £20, plus P&P costs.

x

Comments: 0

Are you mad yet?

16 March 2016

Blog

Are you mad enough to be yourself, even if the loneliest song? Are you mad enough to dream your dreams, say your words, and do your thing? Are you mad enough to love in a world that wants your hate? Are you mad enough to shout, ‘This isn’t right’ in a world that functions so well on being so wrong? Are you mad enough to a small brave light, when cowardice has the shiniest star? Are you mad enough to cut the puppet strings, even if the world tries to turn them into a harvest of...

Comments: 2

I did it my way, despite section, injection and rejection.

9 March 2016

Blog

I don't know what to do next artistically or with regards to mental health work, so I have been reflective. Whatever I have done with my life, it hasn't been mediocre. After a few drinks, I decided to sing about it. Poor you. Here are the lyrics, if you want to go all karaoke.  And now, my rear is here And so I face another injection My friend, I’ll say it clear I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain I’ve lived a life that’s full I didn’t...

Comments: 0

Sanity Product Recall

3 March 2016

Blog

I insist sanity be recalled, but I am not sure where it should be returned to.

Comments: 0

Depressed Search Engine

2 February 2016

Blog

I have already created a website experiencing psychosis http://internetbreakdown.com/   Today I decided to create a depressed search engine insisting that there isn't any point to looking for what you want.  I have self-hate in my programming too, the anti-virus is not sanity, that only makes my system crash again and again. To that end, I want to disrupt systems that produce ‘copy and paste’ identities/ thoughts/ perceptions/ life/ death, as a Trojan...

Comments: 6

The Revolution will not be medicated

11 January 2016

Blog

The Revolution will not be medicated  No forced stillness and wiped dreams  No being held down For being different No sedation for the screams We are screaming for a reason Our hurt will change the world Because the world won't change our hurt The side effect of  life Is the need for it to be ours The revolution will not be medicated You cannot anesthetise hell You cannot desensitise the broken heart Madness is seen as revolting Thank fuck  ...

Comments: 2

My leaflet on 'How to look after your bum bum for depot'

29 November 2015

Blog

Surrounded by arseholes, it is good to have an arse that stands out, although some will argue, that’s half the problem. But how better to show your recovery by looking after your bum.  Let it be so beautiful when they inject it, they feel shame at tarnishing such sexiness. Here are my tips for looking after your bum bum in the leaflet . DO SOME BUM EXERCISES (see left) SOFTEN YOUR BUM BUM WITH MOISTURISING CREAM  (psych staff will feel bad about injecting such a smooth...

Comments: 0

The first of my 'how to' guides in regards to mental health

19 November 2015

Blog

I am part of a facebook forum called 'Recovery in the Bin'.  This User Led group is for MH Survivors and Supporters who are fed up with the way colonised 'recovery' is being used to discipline and control those who are trying to find a place in the world, to live as they wish, trying to deal with the very real mental distress they encounter on a daily basis. We believe in human rights and social justice! Today someone wanted to create a spoof leaflet on how not to be...

Comments: 2

Creativity and Mental Liberation Manifesto

24 October 2015

Blog

Morley College has revived their 100 year old tradition of putting on their penny lectures, where people pay a penny to listen to a talk. Bobby Baker and I talked on the theme of Creativity and Mental Liberation. I decided to present my manifesto on Creativity and Mental Liberation, which has been harvested from previous writings and some new thoughts.  A manifesto declares to the world your beliefs, goals, and what needs to be made real. I had my first psychosis at 14.  I was lost in...

Comments: 5

Mental Health Week's theme is Dignity, I am still looking for it.

2 October 2015

Blog

Next week is Mental Health Week and this year's theme is dignity. This is my take on it: Dignity cannot be taken 4 times a day Being labelled, pathologised and medicated, I cannot claim my mind for myself I cannot claim my life for myself So how can I even have dignity? Medicine does not heal But seals the scream Is that dignity? Dignity are never in the side effects. Weight gain – my arse is getting bigger than my dreams. Too tired to reach for the day, let alone the sun. Try having...

Comments: 4

The Existential Circus

29 September 2015

Blog

Although I am part of Mad Pride in response to the shaming by the sanatised, I do sometimes feel that madness is a terrible impersonator of the self. I think there is something to the fact that sometimes the self needs to be played badly, an existential tribute act, in order to maintain dignity. One problem is being ridiculed for not surrendering the dignity.  One tragedy is that the self and its inadequate impersonation are both unpleasant acts on a mediocre bill. I am not talking about...

Comments: 0

Some questions for my readers

28 September 2015

Blog

Hello readers, hope you are all doing ok. Next year I am going to be moving out of London to somewhere quieter. I have decided not to work in the mental health system any more, and am toying with the idea of making my art a private pursuit rather than a public one. I haven't had much luck with getting grants for my art, it is all self-funded and shared openly, but I do need pay the bills, etc. So I want to know what do you get out of my art or blog to see if it is a thing I should keep...

Comments: 5

What Comfort Zone?

18 September 2015

Blog

I created this collage recently in response to the idea of comfort zones.  Part of mental health recovery rhetoric is being told by some psychiatric professionals we need to step out of our comfort zones. What comfort zones? Comfort zones are a middle class idea for people who haven't been brutualised, abused, humiliated, or deeply hurt in life. I have no comfort zones. My hell might have cushions but it is still hell. I have a memory foam mattress on top of my bed of nails. My dreams...

Comments: 1

Shame on the mental health system

15 September 2015

Blog

Human beings are such strange creatures. I think sometimes some academics and mental health professionals alienate the experience they study by labels, words and concepts, and get angry when the people they work with or study don't 'engage' or yield to their so-called expertise. I have done a couple of workshops on shame recently to try and get people to feel it instead of intellectualise it. Mad people are at the brunt of constant shaming by society, family, media, systems, etc,...

Comments: 1

what would you prescribe yourself?

8 September 2015

Blog

I ran a creative workshop yesterday at the wonderful Dragon Cafe inspired by Prescription of Stars poem. Here is what I said to people: "Fed up of being prescribed tablets? Here is a chance, using whatever creative method you wish, to take over an A4 prescription-style template to prescribe yourself what you think will heal your wounds." The answers were interesting and sometimes poignant. The most popular answers were hugs, massages and good friendships. One person said...

Comments: 0

Come get your I scream

12 August 2015

Blog

I met up with the very fabulous Liz Carr at a creative social, and I asked her how her project ‘Assisted Suicide – the Musical’ was progressing. We had a little chat about the work involved for her. I, for one, can’t wait to see it. I offered to sell some unique ice cream in the interval, available in Rocky Road, Chocolate Crip, or Vanilla Death. If it is the only refreshment there is and you can't leave the building without buying it, does it make you a bit...

Comments: 4

A short film about the voices I hear

29 July 2015

Blog

I don't know if I have the mind I was born with, but I know my mind got hurt along the way. I have had psychotic experiences for over 30 years now. I am more able to function than say 20 years ago, yet the ghosts of it continue to haunt me. When I first heard voices and saw visions, it was thought psychosis was a brain disease with a genetic basis. More recently that has become a very weak hypothesis. More and more studies acknowledge childhood trauma as a major influence in developing...

Comments: 6

Me and Comedy

27 July 2015

Blog

I have recently given up my occupational therapy course. I wasn’t the right mind shape for the role. So I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do next. I asked the question to some facebook friends: what other career options I should consider? Stand-up comedian came up more than once. I would love to be one, but I am also a paranoid who will be wondering why people are laughing at me – you can see the dilemma I have. Not only that, anyone who read my first memoir ‘The World is...

Comments: 3

Hysterical

10 July 2015

Blog

Yesterday I attended a creative meeting looking at creating art around the theme of hysteria, and the invitees were asked to talk a few minutes about their take on hysteria. This was my talk: I look at hysteria two ways. Firstly, I see hysteria as performance, applauded by psychiatry and society. Make your madness entertaining for sanity, make it a separate, strange phenomena for us. The body and mind might be at war with each other, but although we may sympathise, we will support that war and...

Comments: 1

7/7 on a psychiatric ward

7 July 2015

Blog

I remember 7/7 very well. I was an inpatient on a psych ward at St Thomas Hospital, and out of nowhere there were convoys of ambulances streaming in the A&E dept of the hospital. There were no more red double decker buses going over the bridge. My mum texted me that there were a series of bombs on london transport. I went into a ward round and maintained the belief the world was too painful to live in. It was an inappropriate response apparently. They didn't show me humanity. That came...

Comments: 0

My pussy rides free

29 June 2015

Blog

I had lunch with my partner and her daughter at Frankie and Bennys, a restaurant food chain. I spotted at the next table were some kids playing with activity booklets the restaurant provided, to keep them out of mischief while they wait for food. I have been told I need to keep out of mischief so I asked the waitress for one. She duly provided me with an activity pack. My favourite activity was: Create Your Own Film Poster. The pack included stickers and pencils.  Here is my film poster...

Comments: 0