I’m Salma Haidrani, a multi-award-winning freelance writer based in London. I made my first foray into freelance writing in 2016 and I’ve never looked back since! My areas of interest include contemporary faith, marginalised communities, women’s rights, British identity, LGBTQ+ issues, social issues and more. I write for a number of publications, including Vice, i-D, Dazed, HUNGER, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, Grazia, Time Out London, Bustle etc.
A significant amount of my journalism sheds light on Britain’s invisible voices and provides a platform for the voices of under-represented communities. In such a turbulent socio-political climate, particularly post-Brexit, that’s a significant reason I’m attracted to my work – I can encourage readers across the UK to re-evaluate their existing biases and assumptions.
Examples include my undercover investigation for Cosmopolitan UK into whether beauty pageants still have a place in contemporary British society, to exploring the unique challenges that Muslim women with eating disorders can face during the religious holiday of Ramadan for VICE. I’ve also profiled the man behind the first summer camp for trans kids literally saving kids’ lives for Time Out London, to investigating honour-based violence in the South Asian community and interviewing survivors who now live in anonymity for Grazia.
You can catch me on national TV and radio, including BBC Radio 4, Sky News, BBC Asian Network, as well as chairing and appearing in panels at the University of Oxford and the International Journalism Festival in Italy. You can see me in books too! I contributed to the Amazon #1 best-selling anthology ‘It’s Not About the Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race’.
Though it’s rewarding to have scooped 4 journalism awards and 14 nominations to date, I hope to encourage more voices from Muslim, PoC or those from working-class backgrounds to believe that a career in this industry is within their reach: after all, research found that journalism is 94% white, 55% male and dominated by those that are privately-educated.
Raised in the wild countryside of North Wales, I am an illustrator, set painter and all-around enthusiastic maker.
I moved to London to pursue my dream of becoming an illustrator at University of the Arts London and have since been working on a variety of different projects ranging from working as a scenic painter at festivals, signwriting and set dressing at theatrical events to illustrating storybooks and stationary.
I am inspired by my surroundings and by the stories and funny sentences I have heard. My ultimate ambition is to create children’s books as I believe they play a very important part in a child’s upbringing and I feel my whimsical and energetic style of drawing would be well suited to this. Not to mention, I absolutely love drawing personified animals! I work using fine liners, drawing in a continuous line style, before adding a wash of watercolour over the top to add a warm and vibrant feel.
Previous clients include City of London, McGuigan Wines, Secret Cinema, LaplandUK, Porthilly Spirit, Secret Productions, St John at Hackney, Love Specs, Boomtown Fair, Okoru Events, Son & Sons. You can see all of my work on my website.