Editorial: Amplifying student voices

Amplifying student voices

As universities welcome a new intake of students this month Lacuna is elevating the stories of student writers.

We’ve asked two recent graduates to share their university experiences: one explaining how she turned a human rights module into a political movement, while the other reflects on three years of volunteering with refugees and asylum seekers.

In The Home Office is coming Olivia Konotey-Ahulu remembers conversations and encounters she’s had at a night shelter in Coventry. Described as “a last resort” for asylum seekers and refugees, the shelter offers a temporary roof and camp bed to people stuck in limbo. Through their stories Olivia (who is now studying journalism at Paris Institute of Political Studies) illustrates how the UK asylum system can sometimes prove fatal.

Helen Bates shares a story of success in Pregnant then screwed. Challenged with finding a practical method of tackling a social injustice, Helen (and a team of fellow law students) launched an online petition that gained so much traction it drew the attention of Parliament. She shares her top tips so you can do the same.

We’re also featuring a new short film produced by a former research fellow at Warwick University’s Centre for Human Rights in Practice. In the desert lands of the West Bank, Alice Panepinto tells the story of a small Palestinian school that is defying demolition orders. Made of tyres and mud, the school and its surrounding Bedouin community have become critical players in the future viability of the two-state solution in Israel-Palestine.

Meanwhile, in Iraq award-winning journalist Billy Briggs tells the stories of Yazidi women who were captured by ISIS and survived unimaginable torture. Three years on, he asks, where is the justice for the Yazidi genocide?

We look forward to featuring the work of new student writers and producers alongside established authors over the year ahead.

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