Decolonise, not Diversify

by Kavita Bhanot Since the recent failure of World Book Night to include any writers of colour in its 2015 list, there has been a fresh bout of conversation about the need for more ‘diversity’ in the literature that is published and awarded in Britain, as well as amongst those working in publishing. Alongside a… Read More

Your fascination with Muslim women’s bodies has a long misogynistic history

by Nadia Atia   In the early hours of Wednesday 18 November, Hasna Aït Boulahcen, aged 26, of Moroccan origin, was killed in an explosion in Paris. Initial news coverage of the young woman’s final hours branded her ‘Europe’s First Suicide Bomber’ and stressed a hedonistic life (see for example the Independent). In some reports, brief… Read More

Why British Historians must be de-colonised

by Marcus Daniel India would like some of the British Empire’s spoils back, and have made it known with a campaign to return the Koh-i-Noor diamond, worth £105m and currently set in the Queen Mother’s crown. It’s not of course a unique situation, as campaigns for the return of the Parthenon Marbles and other loot… Read More

Why science fiction matters to life in the postcolony

by Haris A. Durrani I remember learning about the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, that moment when Britain and France drew lines on a map of what is now known as the Middle East. I was in high school in the U.S., and the so-called Arab Spring had just erupted on the other side of the… Read More

Racism is…

CONTENT NOTE: Some of the embedded links in this piece are NSFW, and detail numerous forms of violence against people of colour. by Shane Thomas BBC3 recently aired a mini-season of shows focused on the topic of racism, one being Mona Chalabi’s documentary, Is Britain Racist? Whatever one’s thoughts of the programme, it was good… Read More

Breaking tongues: carrying names across borders

by Sinthujan Varatharajah  I was named Sinthujan, a holy river for Hindus that in today’s Pakistan kills hundreds during the floods. However, neither that river, its Sanskrit origin or the subcontinent’s partition really mattered to my parents. Sinthuja is a common Tamil name given to girls. It’s a name that has survived decolonisation and nationalism’s drive… Read More

Genocide: History Repeating

by Robert Kazandjian    ‘I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times. It happened to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action.’ – Raphael Lemkin On July the 11th, Muslim Bosniaks commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The Bosnian War raged as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia… Read More

No Reconciliation without Recognition: A Personal History of the Armenian Genocide

by Robert Kazandjian On April 24, 2015 Armenians worldwide commemorated the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. In 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested approximately 250 prominent Armenian community figures and intellectuals in Constantinople, the majority of whom were executed. The great poet Daniel Varoujan was disembowelled before his eyes were gouged out. The carnage spread like a… Read More