Prof Roshini Kempadoo

Prof Roshini Kempadoo

Roshini Kempadoo is an international photographer, media artist and scholar creating photographs, artworks and writing that interpret, analyse and re-imagine historical experiences and memories as womens’ visual narratives. Central to this is to re-conceptualise the visual archive, the subject of her monograph Creole in the Archive: Imagery, Presence and Location of the Caribbean Figure (2016) published by Roman and Littlefield International. 

Roshini studied visual communications and photography, creating photographs for exhibition including the seminal digital montage series ECU: European Currency Unfolds (1992) first exhibited at the Laing Gallery, Newcastle. As a photographer, she was a member of Format Women’s Picture Agency (1983-2003) documenting black communities, women’s groups and trade union events. In 2004, Sunil Gupta curated her retrospective exhibition Roshini Kempadoo: Works 1990 - 2004. In 2019, Roshini was invited to take up the prestigious opportunity as International Artist-in-Residence (IAIR) at Artpace, San Antonio, USA at the invitation of guest curator Deborah Willis, MacArthur Fellow (2000) and Chair of Photography at Tisch School of Art, NYU. This culminated in the new artwork and exhibition Like Gold Dust at Artpace.  

Roshini is a cultural activist and advocate. She was instrumental to founding the Association of Black Photographers Autograph (ABP), established at Rivington Place, London. She contributed to the development of Ten.8 International Photographic Magazine (1986-1990) as manager and editorial board member. She has also been a national arts advisor, photography officer, and consultant for the Arts Council (1990 - 2000) where she helped develop national policy in the areas of photography, visual arts, cultural diversity and equality. In 2012 -13, Roshini became the first animateur for Iniva’s Stuart Hall Library and more recently was instrumental to public debate about the visual arts, internationalism and infrastructure convened by supporters of Iniva (2014-2015).   

As a scholar, Roshini publishes articles and chapters that range from critical visual culture studies to ways creative practice constitutes academic research. She reviews for journals and book publishers including, Duke University Press, Journal of Media Practice and Journal of Refugee Studies.  She was a member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2010-2018) and currently a reviewer and on the training committee for the Techne AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership consortia (2018 - to date), see:

She is represented by Autograph ABP.


  • 2010 PUMA Creative Mobility Awards
  • 2009 British Academy Overseas Grants
  • 2006 AHRB Small Grants 
  • 2003 ADC-LTSN Pedagogic Funds

PhD Supervision

Roshini currently supervises four PhD researchers (Director of Studies and joint supervision) whose topics include contemporary visual arts culture, embodiment, histories and memories. This includes photography’s indexicality (Paulius Petrias, AHRC Middlesex University), visual arts as relational encounters with artefacts (Catherine Roche), experimental film (George Clark), archives, adoption and memories as installation (Jini Rawlings) and experimental screen-based media on Maltese Fishing (Gilbert Calleja). 

Completed PhDs she has supervised include theses on contemporary black diaspora visual practice (Sarah Stefana Smith, University of Toronto), virtual nomadism as diasporic art (Taey Kim), sonic and video real time explorations of space (David Chapman and Kate Sicchio) and cinematic language of memory, identity and space (Gill Daniels). 

Roshini has been external and internal examiner of fourteen PhDs, including both practice-based and written theses. She has particular expertise in practice-based research and welcomes PhD applications  that address any of the above-described areas.

Roshini’s current research interests continue on visual arts culture, photography and archives, with a focus on Caribbean archives; contemporary Caribbean visual arts; European diasporic representation; and experimental screen media representations of inequality and racism. Her recent artwork FaceUp explores taking selfies, mobile technology and diasporic urban life and was curated by Paul Goodwin for the exhibition Ghosts: Keith Piper and Roshini Kempadoo (2015), Lethaby Gallery, London. 

Roshini is currently developing an international research network on archives with CREAM and contributing to the forthcoming volume for the Peter Lang Transnational Cultures book series Framing the Critical Decade: After the Black Arts Movement. She has also been a visual arts editor for Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism published by Duke University Press and edited by David Scott (2013 - 2018).

  • Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media