By Mika Alvarez
As the financial decline of Greece loomed over the country, 39-year-old Foteini Aravani made the decision to move to London five years ago. Originally from Athens, she feared Greece’s economic crisis, citing it as the main reason for moving.
“[Greece is] not a country that would offer me half of what London’s offering me at the moment,” said Aravani, who now works for the Museum of London as a museum curator in the history division.
Aravani received a degree in management at the University of Glasgow. A self-proclaimed “emotional Londoner”, she previously worked for the British Library Leader and the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Currently she is developing the Museum of London’s digital collecting activities, and finding opportunities to further enhance the museum’s collections.
As a young girl, Aravani visited London and believed the move to London “made sense without [it] being very conscious in [her] mind.” What doesn’t she like? The fact that she’s not allowed to vote.
Catharine Arnold Profile
By Lily Avis
“I speak as a virtual Londoner, I’m here as a hologram really,” says Catherine Arnold. The writer and historian has lived in London for four years but is now back in Nottingham, but she still sees herself as a Londoner. Her work tells the stories of the history of London’s darker side.
Arnold was looking forward to hearing what the next generation thinks about what makes a Londoner. “Although I teach myself, I don’t always hear what younger people are saying. To come to an event like this we can get a whole new take on it,” she told Journalism students
A woman of many literary talents, Arnold has written many books, including City of Sin: London and Its Vices and Necropolis: London and Its Dead, which was in the Independent’s Top Ten History Books. She also describes herself as “quite a good pianist”, and has been playing for 40 years.
She loves London because when she is in the capital she feels more at home, as smaller cities make her feel isolated. “Everybody knows you, everybody knew your father and everybody knew who you grew up with,” she said.
By Zara Hill & Kirsty Gregory
Documentary filmmaker and post-graduate student Kartel Brown made a triumphant return to London Metropolitan University yesterday, joining four other panelists to debate “What Is a Londoner?”
“I love important stories which are told by people who are involved with the problem,” he said, before engaging in a debate with fellow panelist Jennette Arnold OBE about racism, knife crime and the use of police force.
Brown, who studied journalism at London Met, is also a DJ, political activist for the LGBT community in London, and a filmmaker. His recent documentary, “Out and Bad” ,which was produced by VICE on their music channel “Noisey”, was featured at the Copenhagen Film Festival in 2015, looks at the LGBT Dancehall scene and how it’s fighting against homophobia.
At the tender age of 11, Brown started being involved in demonstrations including the ‘Reclaim the Streets’ demo, and in 2011 captured a female protestor being assaulted by police on camera during the Tottenham uprising. “More and more young people are murdered because there is not enough awareness of the problem,” he said, referring to knife crime.
He is now currently studying a Master’s degree at University of the Arts London.
By Mika Alvarez
“Telling your story well is more important than ever and I can help you do that,” Maurice Mcleod writes in his biography page for Marmoset Media.
With a Jamaican/Swazi background, Mcleod considers him a Londoner. As London-based writer, he is a social commentator and journalist. Writing for newspapers, such as the Guardian, the Independent, the Spectator and others, Mcleod specializes in engaging conversations about and between minority ethnic communities. He worked as a journalist for 15 years before establishing his own communications company, Marmoset Media.
Additionally, he is the director of Media Diversified, a campaign group, and trustee at Race on the Agenda. He studied at Middlesex University in London, graduating with a degree in Psychology.
Mcleod often appears on Sky News to discuss social issues, such as racism and diversity.
If London was a person, Mcleod believes its state of mind would be “paranoid, but vaguely positive and drunk.”
By Ivan Neshev
Political and public personality, nurse and activist, Jennette Arnold, 58, was awarded an OBE in 2009 for her service to local government and the community of London.
Born in Montserrat and trained as a nurse, Arnold has achieved a lot in her lifetime. In 1994, she was elected as a councillor in Islington Council, where she later served as a Deputy Major.
She has served five terms as Chair of the London Assembly, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of East London, where she has been a governor since 2009. “You have to stay on the top of your game all the time,” she told London Met students yesterday.
Arnold is a role model for both women and people of colour. She made it to the Power List as one of the Britain’s 50 most influential Black Women and was also named as one of the 1,000 Heroes and Heroines who have contributed to Black and Asian History in the UK since 1950.
Arnold said her achievements have affected her personal life, but told students that a good schedule always helps. “Work is a cruel thing. It sucks your life like Dracula and if you are not careful it will get carried away,” she said.