The dream is over – Chronicles from the Italian Lockdown

We will go back to a new normality. One that allows us to move beyond capitalism. Dismantle colonial structures of oppression. And live in inclusive societies. During the first months of the global pandemic, the lockdown provoked utopias, dreams for radical change. Neoliberalism is over, announced a respected senior scholar at one of the many …

Freedom, Oppression, Sacrifice: Chronicles from the Italian Lock Down (Part two)

I want to buy a car. I want my freedom back. Freeeee! The government has announced a softening of the lockdown. People can move now within their region. The radio clarifies that social distancing still needs to be maintained, it has become part of our ‘new normality’. Wear masks, keep distance, don’t hug, stand in …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Brexit, love and the political economy of rights

All you need is love. The anti-Brexit crowd had stopped its march to parliament square outside Downing street, not too far away from Theresa May’s official residence. Ten thousands campaigners, activists, families and children had met on this Saturday morning to express their protest against the triggering of article 50. All you need is love …