Art in all its forms does not only have an aesthetic quality but also has the therapeutic ability to heal the soul.

Join us for an insightful conversation with French novelist and clinical art therapist Susanna Crossman as she talks about clinical art therapy and mental health with Sreejita Biswas, an Indian comic artist, and Shikha Mani, Salaam Baalak Trust.

The author will also talk about her book L’île sombre, (Dark Island), which explores how our presents are haunted by our pasts, and what happens when boundaries are crossed and frontiers are closed, leading to tyranny, violence and breakdown.

The conversation will be moderated by Brinda Jacob-Janvrin, an expressive arts therapist and a contemporary dancer.


Café Philo is a series of philosophical debates on diverse subjects between French and Indian authors, experts, public intellectuals and artists around a common theme and connected throughout the network.

Practical details

  • Registration based online event

  • Free entry | Open to all

  • Language of event: English

About the panelists

Susanna Crossman is an Anglo-French fiction writer, essayist and clinical art therapist. Her debut novel, l’île Sombre (Dark Island) has just been published by La Croisée/Delcourt (trans. Carine Chichereau).  Susanna has recent work in Aeon, Paris Review, MAI Journal, Neue Rundschau, S. Fischer (translated into German), We’ll Never Have Paris, Repeater Books, Trauma, DodoInk, 3:AM Journal, & more… Co-author of the French book, L’Hôpital Le Dessous des Cartes (LEH 2015), she regularly collaborates in international hybrid arts projects working with cartoonists, musicians, filmmakers and contemporary artists. Currently, she’s a guest editor for Lucy Writers (University of Cambridge) with her series The Dinner Party Reloaded and working with the organization Awe Curation on a digital art project. She hosts and conceives arts events online and in person.

When she’s not writing, Susanna works internationally as a clinical art therapist, lecturer and consultant. Specialised in mental health, for the past two decades, she has been a keynote speaker and run projects linking arts therapy and culture on three continents with ONGs, hospitals and health care facilities, been a Visiting Professor at Sarah Lawrence College (NY), Kangwong University (South Korea) and published work in Germany, Portugal, France and elsewhere.  She’s represented by Jessica Craig, NY.

For more, see: https://susanna-crossman.squarespace.com
https://www.editions-lacroisee.fr/livres/lile-sombre/
https://www.rfi.fr/fr/podcasts/litt%C3%A9rature-sans-fronti%C3%A8res/20210119-lionel-duroy-%C3%A9crire-pour-vivre

Brinda Jacob-Janvrin is a movement-based expressive arts therapist and a contemporary dancer/choreographer with more than 25 years of performing experience. A qualified counsellor, she has been working extensively with movement and arts therapies since 2003.  A practitioner and facilitator for Authentic Movement and Natural Dreamwork, Brinda is passionate about the arts, the mysterious workings of the Psyche-Soma and connections between the Body and Earth.

Brinda is the founder and managing trustee of the Studio for Movement Arts and Therapies Trust,  a registered charitable Trust created in January 2011 with the following vision and mission:-

Vision: With resilient and empowered individuals, a healed world emerges.
Mission: We craft creatively alive spaces to nurture & catalyse self-inquiry, expression & its integration.

She is a part of the Salaam Baalak Trust family for the past 10 years. Initially, she joined them as a psychologist intern and today, she is a part of the Executive Council. She has a Masters degree in Psychology and is a certified arts-based therapist. She also oversees the mental health program of the foundation.

Sreejita aka Solo is a writer and illustrator from Bangalore. She makes cartoons about mental health, feminism, gender and sexuality. She has worked with CREA, USAID, Royal Veterinary College, UK and others to spread awareness about education, health, medicines, and disability among other things.
When she’s not doing her daytime job, she writes fantasy and sci-fi comics.