Hello Happiness

  • Serial
Paper cut, collage artwork. On a bright yellow textured paper background, around 65 cut-out people are arranged. The people are viewed from above as if by a bird looking down. Each person has a different body shape, hair cut, skin tone. One is seated in a wheelchair. Some wear hats and have bows or ties in their hair. Each person has their arms outstretched, resting on the person next to them's shoulders. This line of people is arranged into a spiral shape, spiralling in to the centre of the image. All the people are wearing yellow tops which means they almost blend in with he background. All except the people towards the centre of the spiral. Around 15 of these people are wearing dark green tops and the two people at the centre wear dark green hats. The shape picked out by these people forms a simple smiling face within the spiral.
Hello Happiness. © Sinem Erkas for Wellcome Collection.

Recently we’ve had an opportunity to survey the world we’ve created and the society we’re all a part of and ask ourselves: is this what makes me happy? And what is happiness anyway? In this series of The Wellcome Collection Podcast, broadcaster and journalist Bidisha and guest presenter Moya Lothian-Mclean explore the meaning of positive emotions. Each month they are joined by guests including artists, activists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, and people with inspiring stories of positivity and transformation, and talk about ways of being happy, rising from hope and joy to tranquillity and resolve, all the way to ecstasy and euphoria.

About the contributors

Photographic black and white, head and shoulders portrait of Bidisha.



Bidisha is a British broadcaster, film-maker and journalist specialising in international affairs, social justice issues, arts and culture, and international human rights.

Debbie Kilbride


Debbie Kilbride is a Sony Gold Award-winning producer who worked at BBC Radio 4 before leaving to pursue a freelance career. Debbie has extensive experience making arts, factual and entertainment programmes and podcasts. She produced many flagship Radio 4 and 3 shows including ‘Free Thinking’, ‘Loose Ends’, ‘Saturday Live’, ‘Woman’s Hour’ and ‘Last Word’, made documentaries for Radio 4 and the World Service, and curated Radio 3’s 2019 Free Thinking Festival. She’s currently producing the weekly podcast ‘After The Tone’, presented by Scottee.

Black and white photo of Emily Wiles

Emily Wiles

Executive producer

Emily Wiles is a cultural producer working at Wellcome Collection on programming that explores health and human experience.

Colour paper-cut artwork depicting the head and shoulders of a young woman with bobbed black hair with a fringe and a yellow 'v' neck top.

Sinem Erkas


Sinem Erkas is a graphic artist with an appetite for experimentation and a good sense of fun. Her practice ranges from 3D paper-cut illustrations to digital flat art, always creating playful and bold imagery that makes you look twice. Based in London, she graduated from Central St Martins in 2008 and has since acquired numerous design awards and clients that include Profile Books, Penguin Random House, Google, SHOWstudio, Boots and Warp Records, among many others.