I interviewed the artist Mahtab Hussain about his show before the wave of terror attacks in Summer 2017 (Westminister, Manchester, London Bridge, Finsbury Park). Arguably, the exhibition's themes are all the more important in the wake of these attacks.
My story on the 1976's Grunwick strike, mainly South Asian women, at a photo-processing laboratory in North West London led by Jayaben Desai, which drew 20,000 supporters to the picket line. Grunwick saw immigrants became part of Britain's working class and labour movement for the first time and it was also a landmark in people coming together and standing up for immigrants in a racist, xenophobic era.
I wrote about the phenomenon of Indian pubs, or Desi pubs, in the West Midlands. Many of these pubs barred Indians and people of colour in the 1960s and there's something very lovely about how these pubs are now Indian-owned and beacons of multiculturalism and symbolise a proud British-Indian identity. They are also breathing new life into a moribund pub industry.
Hugely proud to say I made my Radio 4 debut on July 1st 2015, with a 30minute documentary about how Britain's £3.6billion curry industry is in crisis because visa immigration rules have caused a chronic lack of chefs. The government has set up 'curry colleges' (yes, really) to make the short fall and thus far they have been a disaster. Hardeep Singh Kohli investigates
This story looks at the influence of pre-revolution Iran of the 1970s on contemporary Iranian artists, particularly in the diaspora. It was a really enjoyable story to do as the artists and curator I spoke to were so interesting and lovely, and there was lots of fascinating insights on memory and identity, especially for people who have left the motherland.
Is oil sponsorship heading the same way as tobacco sponsorship?
Over the last couple of years, I've been following activists campaigning to remove oil sponsorship of Britain's arts - specifically BP's sponsorship of Tate Britain, British Museum, Royal Opera House and the National Portrait Gallery.
In recent years, I've noticed the rise of 'Holi Raves', where people 'play Holi' - throw colours at each other - in a rave/festival-style environment. It struck me as odd because Holi is a huge Hindu festival in North India and apart from the throwing coloured paint aspect, there seemed to be little or no correlation between the two, so I investigated further...
In Summer 1994 I saw UK Apache perform Original Nuttah live at Notting Hill Carnival. 21 years or so later, I sat down with him in Tooting to hear of his journey from reggae to raves to religion and to get the full story of the man behind one of the most iconic underground tracks in contemporary Britain.
Over the last few months I've been project managing and co-editing Time Out's Top 100 Bollywood film poll and project alongside film editor Dave Calhoun. I assembled a panel of 20 leading Bollywood experts and have to say so many people, who are very busy and high profile, were more than happy to get involved.
This is one of the most difficult and sensitive pieces I've written. It's also one of the stories I'm most proud of. To date it's been liked and shared over 19000 times. Huge thanks to DJ Storm and Goldie without whom this story would not have been possible.
I spoke to Gaza-based university lecturer, writer and editor Atef Abu Saif, and writer/journalist Asmaa Al Ghul, about life in Gaza and the importance of Comma Press' anthology of short stories, The Book of Gaza.
I sat down with director Yann Demange ('71, The Dead Set) and MC/actor Kano at the RIBA to talk the realities of inner city London and the challenges facing teenagers growing up in London today. Bearing in mind Yann, myself and Kano have been teenagers in London, it was a frank, eye-opening and concerning discussion.
I spent a few days with Jamaican superstar Sean Paul - from chilling in his hotel room to hanging out at his LP launch party to a video shoot with MTV and finally going to his roadblocked gig at Brixton Academy - for a juicy 2400 word feature for ARISE.
The very talented and super lovely photographer Debbie Bragg took some ace pix of me with Sean 'Di' Paul, including the one above (my body language could be better!).