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Posted by Dolly Sen, 22 August 2014

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 23 August 2014

RIP Robin Williams

It has taken me a while to write about Robin Williams for several reasons. I thought: why do it because he can’t read it, nor can I ease his family’s pain. Also, it has unsettled me deeply, because I can identify with his situation and am a bit more scared for myself.

You either loved Robin Williams or hated him. I loved his work, so much of it was putting a hand into human darkness and pain and bringing out beautiful words and laughter. Thank you, Robin, for that.

But now his beautiful heart will beat no more. He will create no more. There will be no more laughter – his or others. He is the curator of no more dreams. But also his pain has stilled in the razor storm.

One million people commit suicide a year. One million people’s laughter extinguished. Their silence is so painful, but I so understand their need for peace. I want the world and life to be their peace instead. I have realised my life will never be peaceful. It will be a place of constant hurt, chaos and confusion. But my hand is held very tightly by some beautiful people, like partner, friends, and fellow artists. So what can I do but stay?

Posted by Dolly Sen, 15 August 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 18 August 2014

Apocalypse Loyalty Card

Who wants an Apocalypse Loyalty Card?

I decided to create one as I have survived several apocalypses, according to several religious groups, and I have nothing to show for it. 

Survive five apocalypses, get the rapture free.

The terms and conditions are that Tory governments are not included. That is the dystopia loyalty card, where you get nothing for your loyalty. Or a fascist loyalty card that chops your fingers off for holding it. 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 6 August 2014

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 6 August 2014

Institute of Inner Vision

This week my film ‘Outside’ was shown at the 'Shuffle Your Mind' event at Shuffle Festival.

‘Outside’ was premiered at the launch of The Institute of Inner Vision at the Barbican Centre in London in March 2013 as part  Wellcome Trust's 'Wonder in Film' season The Institute of Inner Vision was set up at the London College of Communication by Sal Anderson to create and support a community of filmmakers and photographers with experience of psychosis. The Institute commissions short films and is raising monies to run programmes and workshops in film and photography to offer training for people with experience of mental health conditions and/or experiences of inner vision that we can learn from and share.

There are many films professing to show the experience of psychosis. Although there are a few exceptions, mostly it has been done very badly, made by people who have never experienced it and are informed by previous inaccurate cinematic portrayals of psychosis. Think about it this way: you may know the language, the food, the culture and the history of, say, France, but unless you live there, how can write about what it is to be French? There aren’t nearly enough films made on psychosis by people who know it first hand.

So I love the idea of this project, because we need to provide an opportunity where both the filmmaker and viewer can deeply and emotionally share the experience of psychosis, and not be separated by it.

But it is no easy thing being a ‘mad’ film maker. I am writer who uses both pen and computer, and a visual artist who uses both brush and computer. With those I am not disconnected from my art, or the tools of my art. The control is placed firmly in my hands, physically grounding me.  Film is more tricky than that. Film differs in that it is not a solitary vocation, it needs a proliferation of people and equipment in order for the art to be realised. If reality can be divergent in the eyes of psychosis, so the equipment and people stir its mechanisms riotously too. You definitely need people who are gentle and patient around you, to fight any monsters with you. And I was lucky enough to have good people around me when I made the film ‘Outside’. The film itself was just a depiction of a simple shopping trip if you look upon it from the outside, but through the protagonist eyes, you see how difficult it is to differentiate what you see and feel with what the rest of the world does; you know how devastatingly lonely it is, yet how brave the protagonist is to still want to reach out to the world.  When I made the film, the experience of being outside I had endured a thousand times alone, so alone, was no longer lonely. 

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 4 August 2014

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 4 August 2014