Anu Shukla

I am a UK-based multi-media journalist with bylines published at The Independent, Al Jazeera, Reuters and The New Internationalist amongst others.

In a wide-scale breach of trust, HMRC leaks sensitive migrant tax records to the UK Home Office

The UK Government's HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) department shared tax details of almost half a million migrants with the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes; however, rights groups claim new government proposals to digitise the so-called ‘hostile environment’ aim to escalate such data sharing powers even further. An FOI, submitted by the Migrant Rights Network [MRN] – an organisation working on cases of highly skilled migrants refused permanent residency visas over “minor tax err

Race against lockdown: a tale of escape and close calls in Australia

It reads like the blurb of a far-fetched sci-fi movie. As the delta variant swept across Australia, one Kiwi traveller travelled from place to place to avoid getting caught up in the state lockdowns. Anna Cullins escaped them by the skin of her teeth, joining a fleet of “grey nomads and hippy travellers” who fled the southern states in camper vans that have since packed out caravan parks across northern Australia. An educational facilitator, Cullins has worked with health and education initiat

Black, disabled, fashionable: The British-Somalian woman defying the odds to showcase her collection at LFW

Wheelchair-friendly fashion will be showcased at London Fashion Week this fall thanks to a new line of clothing that is being co-created by a British-Somalian entrepreneur. Faduma Farah, an energetic young mother was a size 12 when she walked into a hospital in 2011; emerging in a wheelchair the following year a size 24. A meningitis infection had paralysed her from the neck down and a battle to regain control of her life ensued. Engulfed by the shock of her new reality, Farah, who is now 4

"A tool for protest": DJs from the Global South are fighting oppression with music

Speaking about gender inequality in the region, she added: “We have bigger things to worry about. Yes, female producers lack representation in the music industry, but when I’m in Palestine, I don’t feel that. Palestinians just want to let go and escape the reality for a minute and not think about life under occupation, so they’re not going to bring more conflict into the equation by discriminating women. It’s just not relevant for us. It’s more a case of ‘hey can you make us dance with your musi

Sarah Everard murder highlights threats faced by minority women

Recent government figures show Black Britons and people of mixed ethnicities are more likely to experience sexual assault. London, United Kingdom – The murder of Sarah Everard has placed the UK’s public institutions under intense scrutiny, raised questions as to why prosecutions against sexual abusers remain at an all-time low, and highlighted the threats faced by women and girls from ethnic minority backgrounds, according to experts. Everard went missing on March 3 – she was last seen walking

These BAME female DJs are smashing boundaries of social and institutional gender inequality

When UK artist DJ PsiBindi aka Rena Biring launched Psy-Sisters in 2012 – it was in response to the lack of women on line ups of music festivals and events. The classical-Indian trained vocalist of Indian-Pakistani descent who is also front woman for alt rock band Sentience Machine, has been DJing on London's underground music scene for the best part of two decades and recently joined forces with tech start up Musicbox to make remote artist collaboration easier and entice more women to step

The facade of Myanmar's democracy: How global powers failed Rohingya Muslims

"Part of the problem for organisations like mine is that human rights have fallen way down the international agenda. It's much harder than it has ever been for us to generate pressure and force governments to act," Mark Farmaner, director of the Burma Campaign UK, told The New Arab. Geopolitics continue to take centre stage, Farmaner says, despite the fact that a "genocide" has taken place. The recent escalation of military violence perpetrated against pro-democracy protesters must not be ignor

Bhasan Char: Everything is not what it seems at this new Rohingya refugee island

Sources on the ground have told The New Arab how availability of medical treatment and facilities in Cox's Bazaar outweigh those on the island; and that the Bangladesh government will not provide full access to such resources until it has relocated 100,000 people from Kutupalong camp. But this has created a life or death scenario for the likes of Fazia* who said she lost her husband to heart failure because he did not get proper medical attention on the island. She said medication prescribed

Free school meals fiasco: Is it time to consider the Leeds model?

The school meals fiasco has once again exposed the impact of privatisation on Britain’s most vulnerable. But some local authorities have proven there are better options than external contractors like Chartwells when it comes to delivering public services like free school meals. Despite losing £2 billion in funding since 2010, Leeds City Council has its own in-house catering team to provide help for vulnerable families affected by loss of earnings caused by COVID. In fact the authority has mana

Ibiza clubbing and COVID-19: how the White Isle has adapted during the pandemic

“The only people who are going to survive this are the super rich. Cleaners, suppliers and everyday small business owners working 15-hour days for next to zero profits won’t exist anymore.” He’s not hopeful about restriction-compliant events making a difference, either. “Who wants to do socially distanced sit-down events? I’d rather cut my leg off with a spoon, to be honest.” The domino effect is being felt by venues. Marian Escandell, the manager for Benimussa Park, says that because Clockwork

Lucid dreaming: a universal passport to freedom of movement? | FairPlanet

When 16-year-old Sudanese boy Abdulfatah Hamdallah was found washed up on a French beach after attempting to cross the English Channel from Calais to the UK - his family placed the blame on French authorities for rejecting his bid for asylum. Meanwhile, news reports of the tragedy triggered a nauseous wave of anti-immigrant attitudes. It’s no small feat to confront such behaviour engrained by the mechanics of a system that seems to dehumanise by default, the world’s most marginalised people. B

No music, no dancing: a postcard from Covid-era Ibiza

When music represents the soul of a place like Ibiza, keeping the vibe alive without breaking constantly-changing Covid rules is no small feat. But now, the legendary White Isle – currently devoid of its superstar DJs and massive crowds – is left to do just that. There have been an estimated 489 Covid cases in Ibiza, while Spain as a whole now stands at the 1.1 million mark. And in a bid to minimise infections, local government has banned loud music and dancing anywhere – Ibiza included. On Fr

Meet the British poet teaching asylum seekers to lucid dream

What if lucid dreaming (being conscious during a dream) could become a tool for manifesting freedom of movement for the most marginalised and oppressed people in society? Spoken word artist Potent Whisper's contextualisation of this very idea has materialised into a musical audiobook called Lucid Lovers and a series of lucid dreaming workshops for asylum seekers, the homeless and people living with disabilities. The artist, real name Georgie Stephanou, delivers powerful political prose dissect
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