June 23, 2017

Scarlet Red Lips

“Dear people of London, it’s 28 degrees here in Middlesbrough, that’s right, that place further north than York, but a bit below Durham, 28 degrees. Nothing good to wear, obviously. Don’t believe the capsule wardrobe lie. Boiling” I was frustrated by my own foolishness. In a desire to make my Middlesbrough, dispersed asylum seeker experience as authentic as a white, middle class woman from Tunbridge Wells could, I packed a small rucksack with clothes. My only non-jeans option was a black T-shirt dress. I had worn it for 3 days in row and I was sweaty and grumpy. It wasn’t just that I was warm, although I was, it was that I didn’t feel like

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June 19, 2017

GE17 + Brexit – The view from Middlesbrough

At the time of The General Election 2017 (GE 2017), I was away from London, spending three weeks in Middlesbrough asking questions about migration. Middlesbrough has become famed as a post industrial, dispersal area for asylum seekers. I was here to talk about migration, and yet all of my conversations were GE17 and Brexit. Middlesbrough and its neighbouring town of Stockton on Tees voted to leave the European Union in 2016. As two of the highest asylum seeking dispersal areas in the country, they are in contention with Nigel Farage as the poster boys connecting Brexit to immigration. Of the top 20 asylum dispersal areas in the UK 15 voted to leave the European Union,

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February 8, 2017

Losing a Memory card in a Maize field

Over the course of 2 days we visited 3 Batwa villages. The Batwa, as you may be aware, are indigenous to East Africa and make up approx 1% of the population of Burundi. Traditionally hunters and gatherers who lived off the land, there has been a struggle for recognition and therefore income and rights. We were in Burundi to see our friends, Batwa leaders who are campaigning on behalf of their people and working for their economic empowerment. Whilst there, this amazing Batwa community were harvesting maize, a crop that I had up until this point, zero excitement about or knowledge of. I’m a city girl. I grew up in a decent sized town, I

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