Jhilmil Breckenridge is a poet, writer and activist and is founder, Bhor Foundation, an Indian charity, which is active in mental health advocacy. She advocates Poetry as Therapy and is working on a few initiatives to take this into prisons and psychiatric facilities. She is working on a PhD in the UK and her debut poetry collection, Reclamation Song, was published in June 2018. She is passionate about creating more awareness about the trauma informed approach, and rights for those living with psychosocial disability.
Shreshtha Das is a law graduate from NALSAR University of Law. She opted out of a court-based practice owing to its stress on ‘rationality’ and its inability to capture the complexities of human experience. For the last two years, she has been working at the intersection of gender and disabilities. This time has helped her make sense of her own experiences and also realize that her heart lies in creating community healing spaces, especially for marginalised groups. To this end, she took training in Arts Based Therapy. She champions a feminist politics of vulnerability and also a feminist and Buddhist reimagination of the idea of people as ‘independent’ beings.
Daanika Kamal specializes in human rights law and international development experience in policy-making, legislative drafting and program implementation strategies with particular focus on access to justice and human rights protections. She is an internationally published author and editor in the fields of gender empowerment, mental health and climate change. In 2018, Kamal founded The Colour Blue (TCB), a social enterprise working to promote and encourage the empowerment of those facing mental health challenges, as part of her efforts to affirm mental health as a fundamental human right. She tweets at @daanistan.
Sonaksha Iyengar is an illustrator, writer and graphic designer working primarily through digital art, lettering and watercolour. Along with writing content in the space of art and design, she also specialises in book design. She hopes to work on creating picture books for children and adults on various subjects. She is also personally interested in exploring questions of mental health, self care, body image and body positivity and often furthers these curiosities through her work. Her work has been featured across the globe in platforms like Buzzfeed, Design Taxi, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, Mashable, The Hindu, My Modern Met, The Mighty, Metro and The Ladies Finger among others.
FACILITATION & SUPPORT
Bhargavi Davar, Ph.D., is a childhood survivor of long term exposure to psychiatric institutions. She lived with long term trauma for decades, often bursting into nightmares, bizarre smell and skin phenomena. She started Bapu Trust (www.baputrust.com) to show the world gentle and caring ways of collaborating with people with psychosocial needs. She is convenor of the Asia platform, TCI Asia. She has met the ‘Who’s who’ of our global movement since early 1990s and pays homage to their wisdom and strengths. She is also a trained Arts Based therapist. She loves to follow enlightened buddhist monks and nuns and adopt their ways, where possible.
Jayasree Kalathil is a researcher, writer and translator, and runs the virtual collective, Survivor Research. She is particularly interested in decolonising knowledge in the context of madness and ensuring that the voices of racialised and post-colonial diasporic communities remain valid in knowledge making. She was the founding editor of aaina, India’s first user-led mental health magazine and has edited the UK-based mental health publication, Open Mind. Jayasree was a key part of the vision of Mad in Asia and along with Jhilmil Breckenridge, was Founding Co-Editor. She still advises the collective and she is currently researching the history of user/survivor activism by people from African, African Caribbean and Asian communities in the UK. She is from Kerala, India, and currently lives in London.
PREVIOUS EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
- MDrights is a survivor of psychiatry, a geek for Digital Privacy, for the rights of marginalised social groups and for the resistance against state censorship.
- Momina Masood is a graduate student based in Lahore, Pakistan. She edits poetry for Papercuts, and is currently researching queer Pakistani cinemas for her M.Phil. degree in English Literature at University of the Punjab. She tweets at @momina711.