I know I’m not the only one

Words by Joana Silva

It was 2016 and in true millennial style, I racked up the credit card bill and visited New York City. Now, this may be the uncultured Hayes-girl talking, but the Statue of Liberty was really the main thing on my bucket list. Ellis Island, admittedly, was not in my plans.

I visited it nonetheless and left the museum with a huge shift in my perspective. The Immigration Museum was a building dating back to the 1800s and in the depths of its Great Hall, some 15 million immigrants were ‘inspected’ upon entry to the US. In a matter of minutes, an inspector would determine whether you were deemed a risk to society. It was in that very same Great Hall that I stumbled upon Stoyan Christowe who in 1919 so accurately encompassed what in 26 years I could never truly articulate:

“While I am not a whole American, neither am I what I was when I first landed here…In Bulgaria I am not wholly a Bulgarian; in the United States not wholly an American.”

I travelled to London in 1997 with my baby sister, two dogs and parents who spoke no English. We’d packed our lives into an Opel Corsa (the European equivalent of a Vauxhall) and driven all the way from sunny Lisbon, the city you can thank for custard tarts and Luis Figo’s ascension to football stardom. I picked up English in a matter of months. I was surrounded by other immigrant families where courageous 20-somethings packed their bags and opted to raise their kids in England – the land stereotyped as tea drinkers, lovers of fish and chips, and to my mother’s delight, gravy from a tub.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t always “all gravy”. Some found our traditional double-cheek kiss awkward. The smell of my mother’s leftover stews wasn’t always well-received when I opened up my packed lunch. My dad blasting foreign rock songs on the school run became the topic of many playground conversations. I was introduced to the concept of a Yorkshire pudding aged 17 and embarrassingly, it took me years to actually understand the humour behind Live at the Apollo and other British shows. And when it finally became ‘cool’ in secondary school to be connected to anything remotely foreign and exotic, I’d travel home every summer to comments on how pale I’d become or how my Portuguese was developing a foreign twang. I felt like I could never truly be British, and back “home”, I was slowly losing the battle to remain Portuguese.

I know I’m not the only one.

I write this in attempts to comfort anyone feeling the same way. With Brexit looming, our foreignness, our identities as Europeans feel like they’re being attacked – whether intentionally or not. We’ve grown up trying to appease each side, trying to marry up often opposing cultures. My only comfort has been in seeking to look beyond borders, to understand that my identity is so much more than what my passport labels me as. So yes, while I am Portuguese, I am also a lover of literature, I appreciate good radio, good music and comfort food. I am good to those who are good to me, and maybe even to people who don’t deserve it. I can never stay awake through a movie and eat too many chocolate digestives. I wear my heart on my sleeve and still tremble when overtaking cyclists. I am Portuguese, in spite of these things, in addition to these things, amongst these things. And whilst I am not shunning all the beauty that I can thank the motherland for, nor can I currently afford to be a British passport holder, my nationality and your border is a wholly man-made concept, one I am choosing not to be held back by.

An Interview with MTRNICA

An Interview with MTRNICA

Andy Murray: The Bitter End

Andy Murray: The Bitter End

Is Fortnite the Drake of Video Games?

Is Fortnite the Drake of Video Games?

An Interview with IDK

An Interview with IDK

Beyond Me: DJ’ing in 2018

Beyond Me: DJ’ing in 2018

The World, Me and Mezzanine

The World, Me and Mezzanine

What Happened To Turn-Based JRPGs?

What Happened To Turn-Based JRPGs?

…IN 2018

…IN 2018

Some Rap Songs Helped Me Process Pain

Some Rap Songs Helped Me Process Pain

Hall Of Fame

Hall Of Fame

Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

Reflecting on Yung Lean – A stranger of the new school

Reflecting on Yung Lean – A stranger of the new school

What’s Me? And What’s The Medication?

What’s Me? And What’s The Medication?

Samm Henshaw: Scala – Concert Review

Samm Henshaw: Scala – Concert Review

We Miss UK Funky

We Miss UK Funky

My Favourite Black People

My Favourite Black People

5 Games That Will Never See The Light of Day

5 Games That Will Never See The Light of Day

ICONS

ICONS

Kojo Funds – Golden Boy Review

Kojo Funds – Golden Boy Review

Black History Month: Remembering 5 Historic Black Inventors

Black History Month: Remembering 5 Historic Black Inventors

An Interview With Toffem

An Interview With Toffem

The Most Important Rhythm In Pop Music Today

The Most Important Rhythm In Pop Music Today

FIFA 19 Review

FIFA 19 Review

Tory Lanez: O2 Academy Brixton – Concert Review

Tory Lanez: O2 Academy Brixton – Concert Review

We’re In Another Golden Generation of Rap

We’re In Another Golden Generation of Rap

An Interview with Phaze-What

An Interview with Phaze-What

Ammi Boyz: O2 Academy Islington – Concert Review

Ammi Boyz: O2 Academy Islington – Concert Review

An Interview With Jain

An Interview With Jain

Top 5 Celebrities to Appear in Video Games

Top 5 Celebrities to Appear in Video Games

BREXIT: Who Does It Affect The Most? Part III

BREXIT: Who Does It Affect The Most? Part III

Brexit: Who Does It Affect The Most? Part II

Brexit: Who Does It Affect The Most? Part II

BREXIT: Who Does It Affect The Most? Part I

BREXIT: Who Does It Affect The Most? Part I

What 22 A Million Means To Me

What 22 A Million Means To Me

Stefflon Don – SECURE Review

Stefflon Don – SECURE Review

Jain – Souldier Review

Jain – Souldier Review

Why Pharrell Was A Great Choice On Sweetener

Why Pharrell Was A Great Choice On Sweetener

Elba, Idris Elba

Elba, Idris Elba

The Cool Kids Are Taking Over – Lava La Rue

The Cool Kids Are Taking Over – Lava La Rue

The Real Talking Point Of Stormzy’s Scholarship

The Real Talking Point Of Stormzy’s Scholarship

90’s Dancehall production is Avant Garde Genius

90’s Dancehall production is Avant Garde Genius

DON’T YOU… EVER… GET TOO

DON’T YOU… EVER… GET TOO

The Year of Pierre

The Year of Pierre

Buddy – Harlan & Alondra Review

Buddy – Harlan & Alondra Review

The FIFA eWorld Cup 2018

The FIFA eWorld Cup 2018

An Interview With Samm Henshaw

An Interview With Samm Henshaw

The Rise of Grime at Eastern Electrics 2018

The Rise of Grime at Eastern Electrics 2018

An Interview With A$AP Twelvyy

An Interview With A$AP Twelvyy

An Interview With Misterrcha

An Interview With Misterrcha

Lovebox 2018

Lovebox 2018

The Nuances of Knife Crime

The Nuances of Knife Crime

Inside Rick Ross’s Port of Miami II Listening Party

Inside Rick Ross’s Port of Miami II Listening Party

Fair or Unjust?

Fair or Unjust?

An Interview With Buddy

An Interview With Buddy

Wiz Khalifa: Roundhouse – Concert Review

Wiz Khalifa: Roundhouse – Concert Review

Capturing the moment: London’s new generation of music photographers

Capturing the moment: London’s new generation of music photographers

INSENSITIVITY

INSENSITIVITY

Jamie Isaac – Village Underground Review

Jamie Isaac – Village Underground Review

LDNRBS – Highground Review

LDNRBS – Highground Review

Rasharn Powell – Gold On My Neck

Rasharn Powell – Gold On My Neck

An Interview With Kwaleö

An Interview With Kwaleö

Inside Ebenezer’s Listening Party

Inside Ebenezer’s Listening Party

Azekel – Our Father

Azekel – Our Father

Unlucky Number 7

Unlucky Number 7

Exploring Sudan – Politics

Exploring Sudan – Politics

An Interview With Ada B

An Interview With Ada B

Exploring Sudan – Sport

Exploring Sudan – Sport

An Interview with Jamie Isaac

An Interview with Jamie Isaac

Exploring Sudan – Music

Exploring Sudan – Music

Peter Xan – Swagie

Peter Xan – Swagie

Lauryn Hill: 20 Years on. Still Relevant

Lauryn Hill: 20 Years on. Still Relevant

Global Citizen 2018

Global Citizen 2018

Lil Uzi Vert: O2 Academy Brixton – Concert Review

Lil Uzi Vert: O2 Academy Brixton – Concert Review

Top 5 Concert Venues In London

Top 5 Concert Venues In London

Charles’s 2018 NBA Pre-Season Predictions Review

Charles’s 2018 NBA Pre-Season Predictions Review

An Interview with July 7

An Interview with July 7

School shootings, video games and Trump

School shootings, video games and Trump

Boy Pablo: Queen of Hoxton – Concert Review

Boy Pablo: Queen of Hoxton – Concert Review

Anderson. Paak: O2 Academy Brixton – Concert Review

Anderson. Paak: O2 Academy Brixton – Concert Review

Catching a Vibe with CeeCee

Catching a Vibe with CeeCee

Are Mobile Games Ruining the Video Games Industry?

Are Mobile Games Ruining the Video Games Industry?

Rich Brian: O2 Academy Islington – Concert Review

Rich Brian: O2 Academy Islington – Concert Review

Daniel Caesar: Koko – Concert Review

Daniel Caesar: Koko – Concert Review

PARTYNEXTDOOR: O2 Academy Brixton – Concert Review

PARTYNEXTDOOR: O2 Academy Brixton – Concert Review

Man City – Signings That Created A Dynasty

Man City – Signings That Created A Dynasty

Olivia Nelson: Servant Jazz Quarters – Concert Review

Olivia Nelson: Servant Jazz Quarters – Concert Review

Jhene Aiko: O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire – Concert Review

Jhene Aiko: O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire – Concert Review

Bay Blanco: Lago$City Trap$tar – Review

Bay Blanco: Lago$City Trap$tar – Review

Cosmo Pyke: The Garage – Concert Review

Cosmo Pyke: The Garage – Concert Review

Dragon Ball Fighterz – Review

Dragon Ball Fighterz – Review

My Valentine’s Date

My Valentine’s Date

An Interview With Lorenzo RSV

An Interview With Lorenzo RSV

Monster Hunter: World – Review

Monster Hunter: World – Review

Women at Wireless

Women at Wireless

Rip the Thorns Off

Rip the Thorns Off

MOTM

MOTM

An Interview with Malcolm Bracey

An Interview with Malcolm Bracey

An Interview with Big Joanie

An Interview with Big Joanie

12 Albums to Look Forward to in 2018

12 Albums to Look Forward to in 2018

An Interview with Marino Morwood

An Interview with Marino Morwood

Dedication 6

Dedication 6

14HQ’S MOST MEMORABLE MEMES OF 2017

14HQ’S MOST MEMORABLE MEMES OF 2017

KARAN’S TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2017

KARAN’S TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2017

T’S TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2017

T’S TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2017

CAM’S PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF 2017

CAM’S PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF 2017

CHARLES’S TOP 10 SPORTING MOMENTS OF 2017

CHARLES’S TOP 10 SPORTING MOMENTS OF 2017

JASON’S TOP 5 GAMES OF 2017

JASON’S TOP 5 GAMES OF 2017

KARAN’S TOP 25 SONGS OF 2017

KARAN’S TOP 25 SONGS OF 2017

An Interview with S1

An Interview with S1

THE RISE OF VIRGIL ABLOH

THE RISE OF VIRGIL ABLOH

23 YEARS ON…

23 YEARS ON…

SELFLESS

SELFLESS

BIG SHA…MICHAEL DAPAAH

BIG SHA…MICHAEL DAPAAH

ATTENTION. OPINION. OBSESSION.

ATTENTION. OPINION. OBSESSION.

REST IN PEACE LIL PEEP

REST IN PEACE LIL PEEP

CALL OF DUTY: WWII – REVIEW

CALL OF DUTY: WWII – REVIEW

5 MORE ARTISTS YOU NEED TO START LISTENING TO

5 MORE ARTISTS YOU NEED TO START LISTENING TO

THE MOST MEMORABLE OPENING MOVIE SCENES

THE MOST MEMORABLE OPENING MOVIE SCENES

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: ENTREPRENEURS

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: ENTREPRENEURS

THE GEMS FROM EACH EPISODE OF BLONDED RADIO

THE GEMS FROM EACH EPISODE OF BLONDED RADIO

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: SPORT

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: SPORT

TOP 10 MARVEL CASTING CHOICES

TOP 10 MARVEL CASTING CHOICES

CHARLES’S 2017-18 NBA SEASON PREVIEW

CHARLES’S 2017-18 NBA SEASON PREVIEW

KARAN’S NBA 2017-18 SEASON PREVIEW

KARAN’S NBA 2017-18 SEASON PREVIEW

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: MUSIC

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: MUSIC

THE SUPER TEAM ERA

THE SUPER TEAM ERA

TOP 5, TOP 5, TOP 5: KEY WANE

TOP 5, TOP 5, TOP 5: KEY WANE

F**K THE POLICE

F**K THE POLICE

THE BIG BALLER

THE BIG BALLER

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: INVENTION

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: INVENTION

RAPSODY – LAILA’S WISDOM REVIEW

RAPSODY – LAILA’S WISDOM REVIEW

5 ARTISTS YOU NEED TO START LISTENING TO

5 ARTISTS YOU NEED TO START LISTENING TO

DEDICATION

DEDICATION

EYES PEELED ON: MOSCELLE

EYES PEELED ON: MOSCELLE

MY LIFE, NOT YOURS

MY LIFE, NOT YOURS

EYES PEELED ON: KLEIN MACY

EYES PEELED ON: KLEIN MACY

COMMUNICATION

COMMUNICATION

ULTIMATE FIGHTING TALK

ULTIMATE FIGHTING TALK

VINCE STAPLES: O2 FORUM – CONCERT REVIEW

VINCE STAPLES: O2 FORUM – CONCERT REVIEW

HISTORY MAKER

HISTORY MAKER

MAYWEATHER VS MCGREGOR

MAYWEATHER VS MCGREGOR

IN THE WORDS OF OTHERS: BLONDE

IN THE WORDS OF OTHERS: BLONDE

NO EXCUSES

NO EXCUSES

FINANCE AND FIRST DATES

FINANCE AND FIRST DATES

TOP 5, TOP 5, TOP 5: SYK SENSE

TOP 5, TOP 5, TOP 5: SYK SENSE

THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF DIRTY LAUNDRY

THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF DIRTY LAUNDRY

KING

KING

TYLER, THE CREATOR – FLOWER BOY REVIEW

TYLER, THE CREATOR – FLOWER BOY REVIEW

Murals and Artwork around New York City

Murals and Artwork around New York City

A DOG WITH A BONE

A DOG WITH A BONE

YOU CAN’T RUSH ART

YOU CAN’T RUSH ART

How ‘(At Your Best) You Are Love’ Travelled 40 Years

How ‘(At Your Best) You Are Love’ Travelled 40 Years

PASSION BEATS ALL

PASSION BEATS ALL

WHATS YOUR TYPE?

WHATS YOUR TYPE?

RULED BY THE OLD GUARD

RULED BY THE OLD GUARD

HOW HIP-HOP TOOK OVER HIGH FASHION

HOW HIP-HOP TOOK OVER HIGH FASHION

CHANNEL ORANGE: 5 YEARS LATER

CHANNEL ORANGE: 5 YEARS LATER

An Interview with Benji Colson

An Interview with Benji Colson

MY EXPERIENCE AT THE BAPE STORE IN NEW YORK CITY

MY EXPERIENCE AT THE BAPE STORE IN NEW YORK CITY

PIERS JAMES – VIBES AND TRIBULATIONS II EP – REVIEW

PIERS JAMES – VIBES AND TRIBULATIONS II EP – REVIEW

La Decima

La Decima

…But It Do Sound Good

…But It Do Sound Good

Uefa Champions League Final

Uefa Champions League Final

Kevin Durant : The Time Is Now

Kevin Durant : The Time Is Now

Mamba Out

Mamba Out

So I Met This One Girl

So I Met This One Girl

Drake – More Life Review

Drake – More Life Review

PHIFE: THE DEDICATION

PHIFE: THE DEDICATION

The Team In Turmoil

The Team In Turmoil

Sacked

Sacked

NBA Mid-Season Round Up

NBA Mid-Season Round Up

Big Sean – I Decided Review

Big Sean – I Decided Review

Sampha – Process Review

Sampha – Process Review

Chance The Rapper: Past vs Present

Chance The Rapper: Past vs Present

The Friendzone

The Friendzone

10 Albums Were Waiting For In 2017

10 Albums Were Waiting For In 2017

Top 5 Anticipated Video Games Of 2017

Top 5 Anticipated Video Games Of 2017

Cheat 2 Win

Cheat 2 Win

Top 5 Games of 2016

Top 5 Games of 2016

Manga vs Anime

Manga vs Anime

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Why ‘Dumb Yanks’ Are Not To Blame For Trumps Victory

Why ‘Dumb Yanks’ Are Not To Blame For Trumps Victory

The Little Boy From South London

The Little Boy From South London

The Biggest Athlete In American Sports History

The Biggest Athlete In American Sports History

Rise And Grind

Rise And Grind

Real Friends

Real Friends

FIFA 17 Review

FIFA 17 Review

Why PES Will Never Be Better Than FIFA

Why PES Will Never Be Better Than FIFA

Best Of E3 2016

Best Of E3 2016

7 Video Games We Used To Play All The Time

7 Video Games We Used To Play All The Time