Reject the rat race: higher education wasn’t made for poorer students, but we can change it

by Kennedy Walker  Last week The Independent reported that university debts are so high that students are suffering from increased mental health problems and struggling to afford food. A study by the mental health charity Mind found that 43,000 students at the Russel Group institutions access counselling services in the 2014-2015 academic year, compared to… Read More

Stories of migration and exile: in conversation with writer Olumide Popoola

by Yasmin Gunaratnam  “Calculate is angry because all of his things were stolen in Puglia. He has nothing but his good English. He went to the police…He didn’t think. Next thing he was standing in a police station and someone wanted to fingerprint him. But you can’t get fingerprinted there. Unless you want to stay.… Read More

Hollywood’s Awards Season Fascination with Rape and Sexual Abuse

by Winnie M Li  Content warning: includes references to rape and sexual abuse A few months ago at the Golden Globes, Isabelle Huppert won a Golden Globe for playing a rape survivor, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson won for playing a rapist-murderer. While subsequent awards shows haven’t panned out the same way, both actors continue to be lauded… Read More

An unwelcome home: to be a migrant in today’s Britain is a daily struggle

by Kiri Kankhwende  It almost sounds like the start of a joke: three migrants walked into a bar. One of us had received some bad news on the way to the #OneDayWithoutUs rally on Monday and we needed to stop and talk. My friend, a non-EU migrant, had just found out that his work visa… Read More

Moonlight isn’t just a part of the conversation for film of the year, it is the conversation

by Shane Thomas Content note: this review contains spoilers It’s often said that a key facet of healthy relationships is open, honest, and clear communication. Perhaps less emphasised is that this applies to familial relationships as well as romantic ones. Eight years after his debut feature film, Medicine for Melancholy, Barry Jenkins has made a movie… Read More

Diversity initiatives don’t work, they just make things worse: the ideological function of diversity in the cultural industries

by Anamik Saha  edited by Yasmin Gunaratnam Dev Patel might have won the award for Best Supporting Actor (that’s Dev Patel and not Riz Ahmed, Burberry), but when the nominees for the 2017 BAFTA Awards were announced, the lack of racial (and class) diversity amongst the nominees felt wearingly inevitable. What is more troubling is how… Read More

Theo and the distinctly sexual flavour of French racism

by Guilaine Kinouani  Content warning: contains detailed descriptions of sexual abuse On 2 February, a 22-year-old black French man named Theo was allegedly violently raped with a police truncheon, gang assaulted and racially abused by four French police officers in the Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. So severe were the anal injuries sustained by Theo that… Read More

Claudia Roden: the Egyptian cook in exile who brought hummus to the UK

by Henna Zamurd-Butt  This article is based on a lecture delivered by Claudia Roden at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London on 8th February 2017 as part of the university’s Centenary celebrations. There are some cooks who wordlessly lift their inspirations from cultures near and far, and others captivated by the alchemy… Read More

The grass is always bloodier: what will it take for us to acknowledge violence against black people in Europe?

by Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert  Content warning: detailed description of rape On Thursday 2nd February, police officers were in Aulnay-sous-Bois, on the outskirts of Paris, conducting identification checks, the sort that poor black and brown youths are all too familiar with. In the process one of the kids was brutally slapped by an officer. At that… Read More