What inspired you to start Doll Hospital?
I started Doll Hospital in 2014 when I was 23 and a suicidal master’s student at Oxford. I’m 25 now and a suicidal PhD student at Central Saint Martins, so, like, ‘inspiring’ may not be the best word but hey, in two and half years we’ve put out three 150 page plus full colour issues which is cool. My reason for starting it wasn’t particularly worthy. I was literally just told by my friends to stop tweeting about killing myself as it was freaking everyone out so I was like ‘screw you guys I’ll find another space to make people uncomfortable!’—which is a hilarious backstory in my humble opinion.
Could you tell me how you chose the provocative title?
I came across the phrase ‘doll hospital’ in the 2012 Spring/Summer edition of Another Magazine, the author Joe Dunthorne had curated a photo series, pairing quotes with interesting images. One of the quotes read something along the lines of ‘this is the doll hospital, they come to me broken and I bring them new life’. I just became totally taken in by that line! I had also recently read The Bluest Eye, and the notion of deconstructing white supremacy via the imagery of the doll, of Shirley Temple, was so powerful to me. From then on all my social media was under the handle ‘doll hospital’. I just thought it was the best combination of words, so inevitably when it came to choosing a title for the journal I went with Doll Hospital too! (more…)