2.8 Million Minds

A Manifesto For 2.8 Million Minds


Made during a wild 6 months at the beginning of 2022, this manifesto outlines a series of art processes and actionable ideas that challenge how and who makes the decisions in the lives of young people’s mental health. More than a Manifesto, the document also shares visions for a future worth living, how-to guides, resources and critical reflections.

This process brought together the ideas, feelings, demands and processes of young people from Haringey, Tower Hamlets (and more) with artists Becky Warnock, Simon TomlinsonTyreis Holder, and Yomi Sode. In parallel to these commissions, complementing research around the need, ethics and practicals of art, young people and mental health was led by Tara Brown and Nicola Sim with Seth Pimlot and the vacuum cleaner

Download it here – High Resolution 63MBLow Resolution 6MB).

Artists and collaborators.

Alfie, Amina, Aniqa, Anna, Ash, Azmina, Becky, Beki, Bevali, Bobby, D, Emma, Emma, Frank, George, Hannah, James, Josiah, Jummy, Katie, Lloyd, Maiya, Martha, Masumi, Michele, Naomi, Nicky, Nohan, Nurul, Sai, Seth, Simon, Tahiyah, Tara, Thoma, Tyreis, Yomi, Yu’an, Zakayah, Zoé and all those who wish not to be named.

Image of the launch of A Manifesto for 2.8 Million Minds. Image by Sam Nightingale. Lead image of Tyreis Holder.

2.8 Million Minds – an introduction

With more and more young people struggling with their mental health in London, 2.8 Million Minds is a process to support young people to make art and activism that changes how mental health is experienced and supported. 

Creating healthy and bold ways for young people to lead, mental health disabled artists and diverse arts organisations are working together to attempt to imagine and make real spaces for mutual care, safety and radical visions of mental health. A multi year approach, building from the local to the whole capital, we are working closely with Bernie Grant Arts Centre and Chisenhale Gallery, and being supported by the Mayor of London’s culture team. 

We are taking and are inspired by disability justice and mad pride approaches to mental health. Asking ‘how can young Londoners can use art to begin to radically re-imagine mental health support, justice and pride?’.

Begun in winter 2022, this process is trying to work sustainably yet with urgency. Our first part of the process led to the publication of A Manifesto for 2.8 Million Minds, which also had live presentation at the Parliament of the UK (Palace of Westminster) and Lewisham Shopping Centre (as part of Liberty Festival).

There are numerous ways you can be involved, support or lead. We are a very small team but would love to hear from you (email form below). 

Current activity

Chisenhale Gallery and Whitechapel Gallery – Young people from Tower Hamlets take over process. Spring/Summer 2023. 

In spring/summer of 2023 artists Amina Jama, Cecilia Wee and the vacuum cleaner are working with young people who live in, work in or live close to Tower Hamlets to develop new models of how they can take over the 2.8 Million Minds project. This is one of the key findings of the process so far, that young people should lead it, but how… So.

Together, we will explore the question:

“How can young people with mental health struggles become leaders in art-making and mental health change (without all the stress)?”

We will do this by spending time together to feel safe, letting our radical imagination flourish, and having big dreams about how artists and art spaces could better support you. It will also be silly and irreverent. We aim to bring a group of young people together and support them to change what isn’t working.

At the end of this process, we will share what you have imagined, what you have made, and the ways you have worked together at Whitechapel Gallery. What will this look like? We will figure this out together.

2.8 Million Minds announcement list.

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