Author: Melissa Chemam

Melissa is a Bristol-based writer, reporter and radio producer, a lecturer in journalism at UWE Bristol, as well as the current writer-in-residence at the Arnolfini Gallery. Between 2004 and 2010, she has been reporting in places like Paris, Florence, Prague, Marseille, Miami, and London, before moving to Kenya in 2010 for the BBC World Service, travelling to 14 other African countries. She also worked as a producer and researcher in podcasts and films, notably for Velvet Films, for documentaries on African, American, European and colonial history, and as a communication specialist for NGOs in Central Africa and the Middle East. She came to Bristol in 2015 to write about African-European relations, social change and cultural politics.

The “Colston Four” could become the “Mangrove Nine” of Bristol

Melissa Chemam

This Monday, 25 January 2021, four Bristolians went to court. Their crime: Tearing down the statue of the celebrated benefactor of the city from the 1700s, Edward Colston, merchant and slave trader. The event occurred in Bristol city centre during the most prominent Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest, on 7 June 2020. A demonstration that […]

A new poll shows that the British people overwhelmingly want a deal

Melissa Chemam

Ten days away from the end of the year, and the looming date of 1 January, the British government still can’t negotiate a deal with its most important commercial, political and trading partner, the European Union. As the numbers of Covid cases grow every day in the country, what could bring more panic to British […]

The British press is obsessed with the American elections!

Melissa Chemam

The US election 2020 took place on Tuesday 3 November. Even by Tuesday 10 November the British press continues to cover of the election exclusion of so many important issues at home and worldwide. As a journalist who has worked on foreign affairs since 2005, it seems obvious that this focus has only intensified. And […]

African Art at the “Arnolfini”, Bristol

Melissa Chemam

Since September 2019, I have had the pleasure to be the writer in residence at the Arnolfini art gallery, here in Bristol, writing mainly on feminism, women artists and themes around resistance, worldwide. The exhibitions I covered include the feminist show ‘Still I Rise’, Amak Mahmoodian’s ‘Zanjir’, Angelica Mesiti’s ‘Assembly’ and later on, after the […]

Bristol Students’ Rent Strike

Melissa Chemam

This Friday, students from the University of Bristol announced that they were set for a rent strike over their treatment during current lockdown. “We’re calling a rent strike!!” the students’ union announced on their new Facebook page ‘Bristol, Cut The Rent’. This come from a group of students of all levels, from first years to […]

Covid: Musicians are struggling, but it doesn’t have to be this way

Melissa Chemam

Last week, I learned that one-third of British musicians could quit the music industry due to a lack of support during this coronavirus crisis. Some 2,000 members of the Musicians’ Union were recently surveyed on the issue in the UK. According to the results of the report, 34% of respondents are considering giving up their professional careers […]

NHS Workers: Why They Absolutely Deserve a Pay Rise

Melissa Chemam

While the media have failed to report it widely, NHS workers have already demonstrated twice since July. Marches took place in 30 cities on 8 August, bringing together thousands of people. NHS employees held a minute’s silence for the 640 colleagues who have died during the Coronavirus crisis. Then on Saturday, 12 September hundreds of […]

Brexit and the Rise of Dual Citizenship

Melissa Chemam

In addition to the disorderly handling of Covid-19, the UK is experiencing the worst economic crisis since the 1970s. With job opportunities dwindling, an increasing number of graduates and skilled workers tell me they are considering leaving the country. The phenomenon is made worse by the consequences of Brexit. The outcome has prompted tens of […]

Bristol Community Radio Project

Melissa Chemam

Melissa Chemam has worked in radio since 2006, first as a guest cultural journalist and then as a reporter. Her first radio package was produced in Haiti, then she worked intensely in East and Central Africa, and more recently in Europe. When Melissa came to Bristol in 2015, she fell in love with its diversity, the […]

Bristol rises – new city, bright future

Melissa Chemam

Summer is finally at its height, and with it Bristol seems again to be embracing a feeling of optimism. After an unpredictably hard start to the year and the worst crisis in decades, its businesses want to start over, its restaurants, pubs and shops are reopening, and art galleries are back with a thrilling programme […]