Voiceless Latinx. Domestic Violence, Socioeconomic Precarity and the Monolingualism of London’s Police Apparatus

This month we have a contribution from educator and thinker, Arnaldo. He currently teaches in London where he also researches and writes about the London Latinx community.  It is my first time in a London police station.  My nerves are crackling like water on hot grease, however, on the surface I am stoic.  I have the impression …

The white-guy portraits on the wall: universities are defined by social exclusion

This is a guest contribution from Kathleen Painter who is currently a MA student at UCL Institute of Education. Settling into my seat in the corner of this conference room in one of the world’s most prestigious universities, I feel the room’s densely historical ambience with its high ceilings, weighty dark wood conference table, and …

Making Happy Job Seekers – Precarity and Emotional Resilience

Don’t call them unemployed, please. The charity’s management invited me to East London to talk about their employability programmes. Don’t call them unemployed, repeats one of the managers. I have only recently taken over my position as a lecturer in London, having previously lived and worked elsewhere in Europe. I am not accustomed with the …

Thieving Black Man(liness): When cultural appropriation becomes entirely necessary

Our third guest contribution is from Will Nyerere Plastow, a scriptwriter and filmmaker, currently working at the BBC. I stepped out of the ring my brain aching and my mouth tasting of blood. For the final round I'd had tunnel vision, trying to beat down my rapidly tiring opponent. But I hadn't done enough. I …

A Tale of Two Cities: health inequalities in 21st century London

This is a guest contribution from Emma Brooks who is currently a PhD student at UCL Institute of Education researching antenatal care in London.   Piotr appeared to have it all: he worked full-time as a builder and was happily married with two young children. At the beginning of each pre-entry ESOL class he would …

Being a Dirty Smoker: How public health academia villainises the poor

In my first week of my PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine I made a terrible mistake. We were all settling in working on our literature reviews and I’d gone out into the courtyard for a cigarette. Suddenly an unidentified voice from a few stories above started shouting down at me: …

Be SMART│ER – The everyday craziness of running an employability programme

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” I am sitting in the small meeting room of an old town hall in East London that is rented by a charity providing employability programmes to young people from the neighbourhood. “If you don’t find time, if you don’t do the work, you don’t …

Homophobic rainbow garlands: the homocommercialism of Brighton Pride

“Nice cans love!” A guy wearing a rainbow garland just walked past my friend who was holding her and her girlfriends’ can of beer, one in each hand out in front of her chest (the normal way to hold cans of beer). “Woah… this is Brighton Pride you can’t be making comments like that.” Of …

Dreaming of Social Mobility: A Train Trip to Central London

Meeting point: 8am, Canning Town underground station. The American investment bank who sponsored this employability programme in East London had invited 15 young participants for a round of mock interviews at their headquarters in London’s business district. Participants had worked hard for this event. They had received ten weeks of training provided by one of …