Roshini Kempadoo was born in Crawley, Sussex in 1959 and moved to the Caribbean as a child. She spent her formative years in Jamaica and Guyana, also spending time in Barbados and Trinidad. Returning to study in the UK, she completed a BA in Visual Communications and Photography, earned an MA in Photographic Studies at the University of Derby, and was awarded a PhD by Creative Practice in Art at Goldsmiths College. Roshini was a member of Format Women’s Picture Agency (1983 – 2003), an agency documenting black communities, women’s groups, and trade union events. She is a cultural activist and was instrumental to founding the Association of Black Photographers, Autograph (ABP).
Roshini is a photographer, media artist and lecturer. She currently teaches media practice and supervises undergraduate theses on Contemporary Media Practice at University of East London, as well as contributing to the UEL Photography Arts MA course. Roshini also publishes articles that range from critical visual culture studies, to creative practice as academic research. She reviews journals including Duke University Press, Journal of Media Practice and Journal of Refugee Studies. Outside of academia, Roshini creates artworks, photography and writing projects that combine factual and fictional interpretations of contemporary and historical materials. Her photographs and artworks are influenced by a long career in documenting inequalities, racism and prejudice as it affects Caribbean communities in the Caribbean, the UK, and the rest of the world. She uses digital media and collaborative methods such as montage, layering, narration and interactive techniques, creating characters and artworks that explore colonial and postcolonial Britain and the Caribbean.
Roshini’s outstanding interactive digital art creation, Ghosting (2004), is a collection of art which depicts Trinidad between 1838 – 1948, after the dismantling of the plantation system and abolishment of slavery. It consists of still imagery and montage, with the dialogue of fictional characters running continuously over soundtracks. Viewers interact with the characters and their stories while removing and placing stones on a board – a variation of the ‘pit and pebble’ game. Roshini is currently working on Like Gold Dust (2019), a new art project concerned with women’s narratives set within a climate of financial inequality and economic migration.
By Nicole Georgette Osei