In-Depth Profile: Roshini Kempadoo

Roshini Kempadoo was born in 1959 in the UK, she is currently a lecturer at the University of East London, and practises as a photographer and media artist. Her body of work is particularly research based, with a focus on Britain and the Caribbean.(Kempadoo, R., 2015)

Her influences revolve strongly around Roy De Carava and Langston Hughes, investigating the notion of documentary image infusing narrative. Her work explores the intention of photography and how it links to a memory or narrative that is absorbed by society. How photography in different cultures transforms and compares in aesthetic and contrasting techniques. Her research touches on the embellishment of imagery, and the way people engage and interoperate it.(State of Play, 2010)


Roshini Kempadoo, Amendment05, 2007

I have selected Amendments05, 2007, from Kempadoo’s series Amendments that she created from Trinidad’s island history and culture alongside with their social identity. When analysing the image, the setting stands out as a prominent feature, the traditional greenery of the Caribbean. There are no props or architecture to establish a time period, which enables a generalised view of the scene, but also begs questions of its history and what the scene has seen. Layered upon this is a faded portrait, of a native to the island. The effect of the subject choice, manipulated into a faded tone, provides an indication of a man that used to be. With the use of traditional scenery and the hint of historical context reverting back to the areas strenuous and painful history of British colonisation, in particular the plantations where the natives were bound to slavery. Consequently building a feeling of resentment and loss, some painful history that needs to be remembered. This image reflects Roshini’s intention and focus that holds her body of work, and reinforces the acknowledgment and importance of memories.

State of Play: Photography, Multimedia and Memory, 2010 [online video]. Lecture at the Glasgow School of Art [14/5/15]. Available from:

Kempadoo, R., 2009. Amendments: Digital Griots as Traces of Resistance. Small Axe, 38(1) 181-191

Kempadoo, R., 2015. About [online] [14/5/15] Available from:

Kempadoo, R., 2015. Publications [online] [14/5/15] Available from:

Kempadoo, R., 2015. Selected portfolios [online] [14/5/15] Available from:

Kempadoo, R., 2005. Tracing the Image. Exposure: The Society for Photographic Education, 38(2), 22-30

Victoria Arana, R., 2009. ‘Black’ British Aesthetics Today. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Wolf, S., 2010. The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age. Munich: Prestel

This entry was published on April 21, 2015 at 11:39 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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