Posts By: Andrea Kurland

Inside the hidden North Korean community of south London

In her new short film, Little Pyongyang, filmmaker Rozy Rezvany heads to New Malden – a sleepy, south London suburb – to tell the story of Joong-wha Choi. Choi, a former soldier, came to the UK after fleeing his homeland of North Korea. He now lives with his wife and children, joining hundreds of other defectors… Read more »

At sea with the world’s first ethical cargo ships

When I first heard about the concept of transporting cargo by sail power, I couldn’t imagine how it could ever compete with the modern shipping system. However, the more I listened, the more I learned: these old-fashioned, engineless methods could well be the only ethical option for our future. The big difference between these vessels… Read more »

The complicated truth behind ‘cry for help’ overdoses

The hospital beds at The Whittington in North London are not particularly comfortable. Next to me, behind a thin, shabby curtain, a daughter is beginning to say goodbye to her father. From what I overhear, he’s dying from cancer, and there’s nothing anyone can do. In front of me, there’s a guy spread-eagled on the… Read more »

Dreamy portraits of Kenyan street life

Capturing the raw essence and beauty of Kenya was truly a life-changing journey for me, as it was an opportunity to travel back to my roots for the first time in my life. Although I was aware of the current political and economic corruption that taints the country, the hustle of the people and indescribable… Read more »

How hard is it to be a freelance writer outside of London?

The term “North-South divide” is unwaveringly omnipresent. It crops up in reports that find people in the North are 20 per cent more likely to die early, or in conversations around the “brain drain” that sees hundreds of thousands of university graduates leave annually. Earlier this week, we heard it again, when it was revealed that… Read more »

The underground ballroom scene of the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a very paradoxical country. It was the first place to legalise same-sex marriage, with Amsterdam being named one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities of the world. However, the Netherlands also has a complicated relationship with race. People of colour are poorly represented in the media, in politics, and in the arts. Black… Read more »

Why muslim girls in the UK are turning to fencing

It’s a sunny summer afternoon in East London, and I’m in the rooftop gym at Wapping High School watching a group of 11-14-year-old girls fence. The group, known as ‘Muslim Girls Fence,’ is being instructed by International fencer and coach Lucy Johnson. The image is an unusual one in an inner-city school. Fencing has long… Read more »

A portrait of love, life and community in the South Bronx

During the ’70s, the South Bronx became the face of urban blight, as the federal government systematically denied basic services to Black and Latinx communities under the Nixon White House policy of “benign neglect.” As neighbourhoods fell into extreme states of poverty, crime, and disrepair, landlords realised they would make more money torching their buildings… Read more »

The dark world of forced deportation

It took just 15 minutes for 21-year-old student Elin Ersson to be catapulted into the international consciousness. She did so by refusing to sit down on a flight from Gothenburg to Istanbul until the pilot agreed to refuse to fly a 52-year-old Afghani man who was being deported to – as she claims – certain death…. Read more »

Citizen volunteers respond to horrific Athens forest fires

There’s an acrid, burnt chemical smell hanging in the air over Mati. The sign welcoming visitors to this mellow beachside town on Athens’ eastern coast is blackened by flame and smoke. Burned personal items, like mobile phones, trousers and sunglasses, lie on the beach nearby, abandoned as holidaymakers fled into the sea to escape swirling… Read more »

Never before seen photos from Malick Sidibé’s archive

Malian photographer Malick Sidibé (1936-2016) bought his first camera, a Brownie Flash, in 1956 while working as an apprentice for Gérard Guillat in the nation’s capital of Bamako. Self-taught, Sidibé hit the scene, taking photographs at African events filled with teenagers coming of age at the same time that the country reached independence in 1960…. Read more »

Braving the cold with Hampstead’s women swimmers

It was summer when British photographer Alice Zoo first swam in the Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond in north London. But her project Swimmers came about later, when she was given an assignment to document a community for her Masters course. “It’s rare to find a women-only space anywhere,” she says, “and the community there is quite… Read more »