The wetsuitman. Last winter two bodies were found in Norway and the Netherlands. They were wearing identical wetsuits. The police in three countries were involved in the case, but never managed to identify them. This is the story of who they were.
UK-based performance artist Marissa Carnesky previously created Carnesky's Ghost Train, a dark ride with a theme of the experience of women immigrants, which after touring is now permanently located in Blackpool, England. More recently she produced Carnesky's Tarot Drome, an interactive extravaganza with roller-skating and wrestling versions of the major arcana.
Fifty years ago, another bus-centric race dispute took place. Despite "Just 12 miles away in Bath, black crews were working on buses. London Transport recruitment officers had travelled to Barbados specifically to invite workers to come to the capital" ...non-whites found it impossible to obtain employment working on buses in Bristol, England. [more inside]
"With a time-lapse camera, it would appear that London is pulsing as generations and ethnic groups move up and move out." The BBC reports that something quite remarkable happened in London in the first decade of the new millennium. The number of white British people in the capital fell by 620,000 - equivalent to the entire population of Glasgow moving out. [more inside]
The findings for England and Wales from the 2011 British Census have now been released. The BBC provides a handy guide to changes by area while The Guardian has a neat infographic and a set of Top 10 Charts. [more inside]
In 2005, Manuel Bravo, 35, walked to a stairwell of the Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Center carrying a bedsheet. He hung himself. The note he left indicated that he had done it so that his son, Antonio Bravo, 13, could remain in the United Kingdom to be educated. The pair were to be deported back to war-torn Angola the next day, where they alleged that they had been victims of abuse by the ruling party. Now, Antonio is 19, training to be an electrician, speaking in Yorkshire dialect, no longer speaks his native Porteguese, and will be deported back to Angola if his humanitarian visa is not extended. "My family, they're English," he said, referring to the Beaumonts (his adoptive family). "Britain, that's my culture." [more inside]
Cul-de-sac is a new independent film (trailer, briefly NSFW) by London-based directors Ramin Goudarzi Nejad & Mahshad Torkan. It tells the story of Kiana Firouz, a filmmaker, actress, and lesbian activist who fled Iran after authorities learned of her attempt to make an underground documentary about the lives of Iranian gays and lesbians. According to this interview, Firouz didn't write the film, but plays herself. Earlier this month, her asylum petition was allegedly denied. The denial shouldn't have been surprising according to statistics in a report (pdf) by the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, which states that the refusal rate for lesbians and gay men is as high as 98-99%. Although the Home Office claims it takes the sexual orientation of asylum seekers into consideration, laws which permit deportation of gay and lesbian asylum seekers have recently been challenged in the supreme court.
In a landmark defeat for the UK Government, the House of Commons has voted to allow all former and existing Ghurkas the right to live in the UK. [more inside]
Record levels of immigration have had "little or no impact" on the economic well-being of Britons says a report (pdf) from an influential House of Lords committee. Initial reactions from the various parties, institutes and publications have been largely predictable. Coming so closely on the back of the BBC's recent "White" series on white working-class Britain, it looks likely to provoke some debate on British attitudes to immigration (pdf). [more inside]
"I'm not a politician, I'm an artist. Depravity is part of the job description," says self-styled dandy, former drug addict, and controversial British author Sebastian Horsely, who was denied entrance to the US by customs officials at Newark Airport on the grounds of "moral turpitude," a wide net that encompasses everything from fornication to being a "nuisance." Shades of Oscar Wilde.
Two recent reports on immigration in the UK, a published study on its economic effects, and an expert panel report on its and public service consequences, paint very different pictures. Not that the press need logic or evidence: they made their minds up about those Poles a long time ago, like people did about the West Indians, Bangladeshis and Jews . Is a rational debate on immigration even possible?
Born abroad. 7.5% of the UK's population was born outside the UK and Ireland. This fascinating mini-site from the BBC shows where they all came from, and where they live now. Immigration has been a hot-button issue in UK politics for a while now. In Scotland, they want more immigrants. In England, at least on the right, they want far fewer. The conservative right hate Europe, and hate immigration. Perhaps we'd better not tell them that Germans are the third-largest immigrant group (India and Pakistan at 1 and 2), while the USA-icans languish in 5th.
"Immigration has overtaken gay sex as the main form of HIV into Britain" - that I never knew.