Archive for the ‘articles’ Category

When the patient Sanisha Wynter sought help for her mental health, she struggled to access services, treatment, and support—and above all to be heard by the professionals she saw and the services she attended. Her story is disturbing yet familiar. One clinician told her she was a “strong Black woman,” drawing on a racialised stereotype that downplays the emotional and physical pain that Black women experience.

Read the full article here.

More than 700,000 people sleep rough across Europe on any given night, according to data from the European Parliament. This figure has risen by 70 per cent in the past decade, as rents in cities spiralled, social housing shrank, and governments grappled with the impact of the 2008 financial crash. Millions more live in temporary housing, informal shelters, and on couches and floors of friends, family, and acquaintances.

Read the full article here.

An investigation with Natalie Bloomer and Luke Butterly, this follows up on the work we’ve done on the hostile environment.

UK MPs have been using an official tips line to report people for immigration enforcement in greater numbers than ever before.

More than 150 tip-offs were made to a Home Office immigration hotline by MPs since the start of the COVID pandemic, a freedom of information request by VICE World News showed.

Read the full article.

Book reviews are not usually part of my regular writing, but I could not resist the opportunity to write an essay on the works of Abdulrazak Gurnah pegged to the release of his new novel Afterlives.

Gurnah’s latest novel starts with new beginnings. A man begins a new job that will transform his life. Elsewhere, a young man drawn into military service on behalf of a colonial power returns home. The theme of dislocation and abandonment is one Gurnah returns to throughout his novels. Afterlives opens just before the First World War in German East Africa, what is now known as Tanzania. The novel follows characters through episodes of momentous upheavals and conflict: the defeat of German Imperialism, colonisation by the British, and Independence. The focus is on the impact of these events and of colonialism on individuals, how people can move on, come together and build a life and a family of choice.

Read the full article here.

This is an issue I’ve been looking into for a while, so expect to see some more on this!

Drill artist Digga D is embroiled in an unrelenting legal battle to make music. His Kafkaesque world was the subject of a BBC documentary last November, Defending Digga D, where the 20-year-old performer is shown having check-ins with the police every three hours, subject to recall to prison without a stated reason, has to get his lyrics approved by the police, and even required to move away from his home in London and into a hostel in Norwich. It is one of the most high-profile examples of how the lives and careers of drill artists are disrupted by policing, usually because of perceived or sometimes actual proximity to gangs.

Read the full article here.

Greens and BLM

Posted: November 1, 2020 in articles

I spoke to Green Party activists across western Europe for this piece on anti-racism in practice and the challenges that progressive parties still face.

Making mandazi in lockdown

Posted: August 3, 2020 in articles

I wrote up this more personal piece for the wonderful Vittles newsletter on making mandazi, an East African fried food, in the challenging circumstances of lockdown.

Every immigrant culture has a genre of food that can be tentatively called aunty food: the type of food item that is almost exclusively only supplied to order by an aunty (an aunty is not necessarily a relative, just someone in the community). Mandazi is one of the East African diaspora’s aunty foods.  

Read the full article.

I wrote up a comment about where the Green Party’s leadership should be looking on movement-building.

Movement building should be the Green Party of England and Wales’ most important long-term aim. One of the most important things brought about by Natalie Bennett’s 2012 leadership campaign was her advocacy for what then was known as the “West Midlands Model”, a system developed -you guessed it – in the West Midlands, whereby local party campaigning was coordinated at the regional level. Read the full article.

In the week following lockdown I wrote a briefing in my day job highlighting the specific risks facing people of colour in the UK from COVID19. I have written dozens of these over the years on different topics, drawing together specific evidence about an issue like mental health, access to GPs or benefit reforms and putting it into the context of the UK’s wider racial inequalities. Read the full article.

This was a piece of work done as part of my then day job at the Race Equality Foundation, working with academics at Queen Mary to understand differences in NHS staffing by race, class and gender.

Check it out here.