Dolly Sen: Using Art in Mental Health Activism at Dragon Cafe, London


Price: Free. No booking required


black and white abstract graphic with lots of circles

If you are brutalised or abused by the mental health system and want to challenge and resist that, what can you do without it being pathologised as part of your condition?

Anger is seen part of your madness; complaints will be ignored and invalidated because any criticism on our part is a feature of our delusion.

Where do we have a voice or power? Apart from suggesting we need mad culture, I will show how you can use art and humour to educate the wider public of what is really going on in psychiatry; to reclaim control of our narratives and identity; and to respond powerfully to a system that has hurt too many people. Art is way to make resistance impossible to ignore.

As a child, Dolly Sen was an alien in Empire Strikes Back. She knew then she would never know normal life. Her journey as an artist has taken her up a tree in Regents Park, to California’s Death Row, to the Barbican, Tower Bridge and the Royal Academy, Trafalgar Square, and up a ladder to screw a lightbulb into the sky. She is a writer, filmmaker, artist and performer who uses her creativity to spank oppressive systems’ arses, and to change the way people view madness.

The Dragon Café is a Mental Fight Club creative project: a relaxing café and imaginative space open to all.

Twitter: @dozzyangel

We have a lift from street level that makes the Crypt accessible and have accessible toilets.


Dragon Cafe, The Crypt at St George The Martyr church, Borough High St, London SE1 1JA