When I held my baby I felt nothing at all
Biog: Sanchita Islam Artist, writer and filmmaker Sanchita Islam has worked extensively in the Tower Hamlets region since 1999 and has participated widely in exhibitions and screenings, working closely with organisations such as the Arts Council, British Council and Commonwealth Institute. Pigment Explosion creates projects that engage people through painting/drawing, film, books and photography and aims to reach out to sectors of the public who would not ordinarily have access to the arts. To date Pigment Explosion has worked with old people, women suffering from domestic violence, kids living in the slums of Bangladesh, street kids in Jakarta, kids living on the estates of east London and Kuala Lumpur and most recently patients with mental health problems in Brussels. Sanchita Islam completed her BSc (econ) and MSc (econ) at the London School of Economics before embarking on a Channel 4 sponsored MA at the Northern Media School in Directing and Screenwriting, and a BA in the Practice and Theory of Visual Art at Chelsea School of Art and Design. She has made 15 films to day and exhibited and screened her films in London, Brussels, New York, Paris, Bangladesh, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Rome, India, Pakistan, Frankfurt and Yangon. She has shown at the Whitechapel, ICA and Hayward Gallery and completed over 100 group/solo shows and screenings of her films including the show Schizophrenia Part one where she showed as four artists at the Truman Brewery in 2007. She was artist in resident at the Whitechapel Art Gallery and artist in resident at Artscape and Shoreditch House, and her art has featured in various venues around London such as Shoreditch House, Mark Hix’s restaurants, and the Clifton Hotel Group in Bristol. She has produced and directed sixteen films to date including shorts and one-hour films. The Arts Council, BBC and British Council have funded her films and five books. These include From Briarwood to Barishal to Brick Lane, Old Meets Young, Hidden, Connecting Kids and Avenues. Pigment Explosion branched out into book publication producing its first publication The Cloud Catcher. Chipmunka Press published her first volume of poems Eternal Pollution of a Dented Mind and her novel Gungi Blues in 2008. The theatre group ESTACA ZERO TEATRO in Portugal performed her two plays, The Suitcase and Hello. In 2010 the UK Film Council commissioned the animation film The White Wall. She had a mid-career retrospective at Rich Mix in March 2013. Brussels based art organisation vzw KAOS and the Psycho-Social Centre St-Alexius awarded her a grant to complete the second scroll project with patients suffering from mental health problems in Brussels 2014. Rich Mix invited Pigment Explosion to exhibit this second scroll and perform a play about art, madness and disability in June 2015. The Arts Council and British Council awarded her an Artist International Development Fund grant in 2014 to complete a new scroll project in Bangladesh and Burma. In January 2015 she screened her film White Wall at the Dhaka International Film Festival and in March 2015 she screened White Wall and read excerpts from her new book at Pansodan Gallery in Yangon, Burma. Muswell Hill Press published her new book, written under the pseudonym Q.S Lam Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too, in January 2015. The book was launched in London at Shoreditch House and Rich Mix in June 2015 and at Brick Lane Bookshop Feb 2016. She exhibited her War on a Scroll Part 1 created with patients suffering from mental health problems at KAOS, Brussels, Feb 2016. In June she spoke at the House of Lords about mental health hosted by Baroness Kennedy; in collaboration with the 1001 First Critical Days campaign. ‘Tomorrow’s Child’ Sanchita’s work featured in this landmark show emphasising the importance of maternal mental health on the baby’s future mental well-being. This year she is publishing her first children’s book, The Tree People, Oyez publishers. She just published her second volume of poems, Dented, Chipumka Press 2017; her work was published in the book The Recovery Letters, 2017 Jessica Kingsley publishers; she also designed two book covers, and her essay featured in A Day in the Mind, Chipmunka Press, 2017. Invited by the Malaysian Mental Health Association she spoke at a conference in Singapore about mental health, October 2016, and spoke again in December at the House of Commons, invited by the obstetrician Dr Raja Gangopadhyay. In 2016 she formed her foundation MentalHealth4All to conduct scroll projects with mentally ill people around the world and raise basic mental health awareness. She has now completed scrolls with mentally ill patients in Brussels (KAOS) and in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysian Mental Health Association). She just completed her first global Mental Health 4 All project funded by the Arts Council, performing her mental music, exhibiting her scrolls, spoken word and showing her visuals across KL, Brussels and London, October 2017, which is mental health awareness month, in her continued campaign to speak out about mental health. Sanchita remains staunchly independent and has tried to create a buzz outside the contemporary art scene while keeping one big toe firmly in it. Sanchita is now campaigning globally for better mental health, already presenting her book/film/art related to mental health through the British Council in Burma, Bangladesh and Malaysia. The British Council has invited her to speak about mental health in November 2017. She writes a blog firstname.lastname@example.org and also regularly contributes for the Huffington Post writing about mental health, politics, social issues and motherhood.
Britain doesn’t seem that great anymore
18/04/2018 16:06 BST
I accepted long ago that I am broken, but art, words, music, my children and helping others motivates me to stay well. It is only through being kind that we can get through this mental health storm and see the light once again.
10/10/2017 11:29 BST
Everyone said Corbyn had no chance, who is having the last laugh now? He didn't win, he's not in power, the Tories are still clinging on even though we are sick of their machinations and hubris. The Tories are weaker after blowing their majority. Will Corbyn continue to consolidate his ascendency? One thing that is certain the political landscape has changed irrevocably, the young mobilised, the press had less of an impact on voters than social media, and the Tories are certainly no longer unassailable.
12/06/2017 13:18 BST
With Days To Go, Can Corbyn Win The Election? If He Doesn't We Might Be Facing A One Party Tory State
London is awash with them. What kind of Britain is emerging? Definitely unequal. Labour wiil give it their all, but the Tories seem unassailable.
30/05/2017 12:04 BST
For Prince Harry And William To Talk About Mental Health Is Admirable. Maybe It Will Get More Men Talking Openly
Listening to Prince Harry talk so openly and candidly about mental health with Bryony Gordon was extraordinary and a relief. He was human and vulnerable just like the rest of us.
19/04/2017 16:28 BST
So Trump Is In Power - What Can We Do To Challenge His Myopic And Potentially Disastrous Vision For America And The World?
Have no fear, have courage, Trump is a risible figure who shrewdly manipulated social media and duped the willing disaffected masses, he's not going to solve America's problems, he will probably exacerbate them, make the rich significantly richer and leave a trail of mess in his wake. We must do all that we can to stop him now.
24/01/2017 12:39 GMT
It was encouraging to hear PM Theresa May speak about mental health, especially with a renewed focus on young people with mental health first aid, young peer support training and digital mental health services expansion. These initiatives are positive, but mental health is a problem that the government can't tackle alone and there's no point Tory bashing.
13/01/2017 13:56 GMT
Mothers carrying the burden of the negative thoughts and sometimes gruesome visions need to be able to talk to others about how they are feeling. Keeping it all in will only compound the negativity that persists in their heads.
09/12/2016 11:39 GMT
Etonian And Oxbridge Actors Are Talented, But There Are Actors From Less Privileged Backgrounds Who Could Be Just As Good
Some of these posh actors have unquestionable talent; I am just tired of seeing them. It's making the industry anodyne - just one shade and tone.
22/11/2016 13:07 GMT
Trump's Tone Has Become More Conciliatory - But Don't Be Fooled, It Could Just Be Political Expediency
As an artist, a woman and an ethnic minority, the least I can do is speak out for universal principles: tolerance, fairness and equality. But even before Trump's election I don't think the world was that fair, tolerant or equal, it's just become a lot worse overnight.
14/11/2016 13:29 GMT
Trump now has the power to shape America and its relationship with the rest of the world? He has the power to do as he pleases - will he suppress, curtail, and discriminate, what is he going to do? The world waits, watches and fears for the worst.
09/11/2016 13:43 GMT
There is no quick fix, Trump's rhetoric might appeal to the lowest common denominator, but his policies are hollow and will cement divisions, encourage the consolidation of Far-right politics, disrupt social cohesion and destabilise global hegemony.
07/11/2016 11:37 GMT
As World Mental Health Day Approaches The Problem has Reached Global Epidemic Levels - What Can Be Done?
Mental Health 4 All our global citizens - especially teaching mental health to our young providing them with the tools to cope with the rigours of our fast paced world - that's what we must work towards.
10/10/2016 16:18 BST
When will Syria's suffering end? When will the suffering of Iraqis end? The people of Yemen, Afghanistan... When? As long as leaders like Assad exist, rebel factions, al Qaeda, ISIS, it is a long, long road to peace, rebuilding and stability.
29/09/2016 13:40 BST
There are others like me who have naturally slim builds, who are fairly tall with low BMIs; If the Women's Equality Party enforce this rule, many girls will be excluded from the profession through no fault of their own apart from genetics.
07/09/2016 11:23 BST
By enforcing this ban do they think these women will just disappear, is that the aim? What is the objective of such a policy? The Mayor of Cannes argues that the sight of the women in a burkini makes people fearful during this sensitive time - fearful of what exactly?
31/08/2016 16:48 BST
Being apart from my two children is never easy, but sometimes it's necessary and there should be no guilt if your actions are in the best interests of your child.
19/07/2016 13:22 BST
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