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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.

This Diverse Perspective is looking for the heart of Portugal Prints

8 December 2012

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Portugal Prints Royal Academy Workshop

 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...

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Blogging Workshop and the Shameless Promotion of Lux the Dog

22 October 2012

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Blogging Powerpoint by Dolly Sen

 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...

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Haiku for Mental Health Day at the Tate Modern.

30 September 2012

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Portugal Prints Haiku Event Flyer

 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...

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My new business card

24 September 2012

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Funny Business card

 Who to hand this to, apart from psychiatrists and ATOS?

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

5 September 2012

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Balanced Mind

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...

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Dolly Sen does 4thought

26 July 2012

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Dolly Sen on 4thought

 Here is my itty-bitty contribution to Channel 4 Goes Mad season. 4Thought asked the question: 'What is Madness?' I could have talked for hours on the subject, but if fact the producer didn't want me to answer it but tell my story in a minute and a half. I would have liked longer to qualify some of what I said, but here it is www.4thought.tv/themes/what-is-madness/dolly-sen. What has been interesting about the 4thought this week, when it poses that question is the debate it has...

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Welcome to Action T5

18 July 2012

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Assessed as scum - a letter from atos

 Anyone who knows about the Nazi's Disability  Euthanasia Programme Action T4, will see unsettling parallels to what is happening to disabled people now. The current demonisation and persecuting of disabled people , the media hype over disabled people being burdens and scroungers, an ecomonic strain to society,  is following the Nazi Euthansia's To Do list to the letter. I left my last job in April due to stress, which triggered psychosis and depression (which is one of the...

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Dolly Sen hosting Resonance Radio slot on suicide prevention

16 May 2012

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 On friday 18th May 2012 I will be taking to the helm of Resonance Radio's disability slot 'Technical Difficulties' to explore the difficult subject of suicide. I could do a whole series on the subject, but this Friday's show is an introduction to the subject, where I hope to do some myth busting, explain what the warning signs are, and what  resources are available.  You can listen to it on Resonance Radio 104.4 or through http://resonancefm.com/ at 3.30 on...

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Within WIthout You - an Outsider Art Exhibition and blog

4 April 2012

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Within Without You Exhibition Flyer

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...

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Dolly Sen's Subversive Powerpoint

24 January 2012

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Dolly Bo Peep

 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,...

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Concrete Skin - a poem

19 July 2011

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Put a soul
As light as a feather
In concrete skin
And broken shoes
And say 'live human live'

Go into hell and make it look
Pretty
Find meaning
In your hopeless
dreaming
Death hurts
And life
has people
Who may
or may not

Love you

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Senseless flame - a poem

13 June 2011

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blue man

The fire of your passion. Of your rage Of your life Would make the stars laugh If they could even see you  You are a senseless flame Hiding behind a flesh That cries in secret and judges other insignificant flames Behind insignificant scars  You are a light that needs to burn A light that this rat race has made putrid  No wonder the stars Laugh cynically At these little flames Ashamed Of the light they shed  You must burn A cage will be your payment  Perhaps it is...

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The Mad Ten Commandments

7 June 2011

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Well, have been away a while, but this is the year my soul felt like it was dying. By virtue of having a job and the expectation of me to be 'normal', when normality feels like a barbed-wire enema, is sucking the soul out of me. It just grinds on my values. Of course, not all mad people are sensitive, free-thinking people, but I think quite a few are and are being punished for their reactions to a venal, judgemental world. To me, someone yelling to people in a bank that they won't find their...

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

18 August 2010

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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...

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Dolly Sen pays tribute to Amita Patel

16 August 2010

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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...

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You know you are normal when...

9 July 2010

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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.

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Dolly Sen gives a definition of mad culture

3 July 2010

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pretending to be human cartoon of dolly sen

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...

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Dolly Sen is addicted to making new websites

2 July 2010

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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...

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Dolly Sen on poetry and the darkness of the soul

1 July 2010

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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...

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Dolly Sen sets up Mental Health Training Company

17 June 2010

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Ascend's logo

I graduated from Uni about a month ago, and said to myself, I am going to take a year off. But only two weeks into that resolve, I became bored and am productive again. I am looking for work - and also creating work for myself. One of the ways I am doing that is to promote what I already love doing. So I have a lot of website and updating to do, like my artist website etc. The first site that is nearly done is Ascend Mental Health Training and Consultancy. Check it out if you...

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Dolly Sen posts Recovery Film by Michelle McNary

12 June 2010

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When I used to believe in Recovery as concept and practice, I took part in a film about the subject matter, made by my good friend Michelle McNary. I think she made a really touching and powerful film. It was made for our local Mental Health Trust, so my decision to wear my mad pride t-shirt was deliberate! Recovery and mental illness: part two continues a series of edited testimonies from system survivors on youtube...

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

22 April 2010

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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....

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Dolly Sen does BBC Radio Sussex

8 April 2010

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I have just moved to Eastbourne. BBC Sussex presenter Danny Pike interviewed me about the stigma attached to being labelled with a mental health condition - as part of Mental Health Action week.

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Dolly Sen writes a one-off blog for Mind

27 March 2010

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My one-off blog for Mind about access to psychological therapies gives an opinion on supporting Mind’s 'We Need to Talk' campaign.

Let me know what you think?

At the moment I am mostly thinking why He-man had a girl's hairstyle?

xxx

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