The British Library

Marco’s Story

I moved to London aged 22 with the dream of building a career in music. I was born in Bari, a small city on the Adriatic Sea. I moved on my own since there was no way for me to develop while staying there. For the first year I worked 50-60 hours a week in this cafe down South Kensington, cycling 12 miles daily. My landlord was illegally subletting me a room in his council flat, water and electricity had a top up system that would at times run out.

I started uni and kept working at the cafe, 3-4 days a week. I also kept the room cause it was cheap and I couldn’t afford more. Meanwhile some freelancing opportunities came along. I often worked nights. I graduated with full marks in the beginning of 2016. I now (at age 28) teach a short course at my former uni, trying to help students with the same passion I had when I arrived. I still chase my dreams and worked on exciting projects. There are many sacrifices to be made daily, but feel part of a vibrant community of dreamers in this city.

-Marco, Hackney

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