CreativeMornings Dubai: Dr. Jenna Burton


November 24, 2021


Open To Public

This month’s CreativeMornings theme is “Liminal”. ATÖLYE Dubai will be hosting CreativeMornings Dubai with Dr. Jenna Burton as the speaker on Wednesday, November 24 at 8:15 AM (GMT+4). The event will take place both in our ATÖLYE Dubai space as well as on Zoom. Find registration details below.


About the Theme:


When we find ourselves in an in-between place, we might call our location “liminal.” Liminal space is found at the threshold, between leaving an old life and starting a new one. When we have shed a tired identity but not yet donned a fresh one. Liminality is a state of becoming. It slips away, eluding easy categorization.


Invite yourself into the cocoon of transformation. Instead of asking what comes after the chrysalis, what if, in the words of anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, we look around rather than ahead? If we learn to trust the process, we can remain curious and open. We can surrender our certainty and leave ourselves vulnerable and open to the mysteries of being. What joy and sweetness can we find in all this, in the depths of liminal spaces and times?


Our Sofia chapter chose this month’s exploration of Liminal and Sevda Semer illustrated the theme.


About the Speaker:


My name is Jenna Burton…Who Am I?


I could tell you the year that I graduated and which hospitals I worked in around the world, but I fear so many of us hide behind our occupation that we never really detail ‘who am I?’


I was considering a career in zoology, maths and neuroscience with equal significance before landing on Medicine (and I hate to admit that medicine may have simply won the race because it outwardly seemed ‘cool’ and I got to wear a white coat with a small air of prestige – though this was far from the reality I was hit with when entering gastroenterology wards and having to perform PR examinations (look it up) and insert female catheters).


So yes, I did graduate in 2010 from Manchester Medical School and I am studying an MSC in Health Policy and I do envisage an ongoing career in healthcare leadership and consulting. But I do not believe this is even a small percentage of who I am. My name is Jenna Burton. I am an open, honest individual who cares about population health and the nature of our emotional evolution. As it stands, depression and anxiety are flooding our society along with the need to be ‘better’ and ‘ahead.’ As our fast-paced lives beget a population of unhappy people, I am in the process of attempting to make some noise to tell us all to ‘slow down’ and accept normality. I also believe exercise is one of the most underutilised forms of treatment we have access to.


I suffered with an eating disorder from the age of around 16 years old, and although largely free of symptoms today, I do believe it will be embedded somewhere in my DNA for all eternity. Again, this does not define me as a person. Yet it does heighten my understanding of people, addictive behaviours and learning the importance of useful emotional outlets.


As a highly emotional being (despite my resistance at being one), I have coined the phrase ‘emotional medicine’ as I believe a great burden of disease is secondary to the inability to express our emotions in our modern-day world. Think chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, anger mismanagement, leading on to mental health conditions such as full clinical depression and anxiety.


Outside of medicine, I am a creative and fun-loving personality, yet who spends her entire life worrying about the fact that she is worrying. I was often referred to as ‘different’ when I was a child, which was tolerable, yet when more defining descriptions such as ‘weird’ crept in, I was not as keen on standing out. I do think outside the box and believe in our ability to think and dream freely. I feel it is sad that I tried to mask my character to an extent for a large portion of my life.


My favourite past times, bar none, are singing, dancing, acting and general performance. I would love to present medical programmes in the future, though fear that my incredibly asymmetrical face would not be appropriate for our television screens. So I shall continue in the shower, at karaoke and in my dreams, to perform my heart out. This is undoubtedly my true passionate indulgence in life, along with writing poetry and silly little riddles.


Register for the event here.