I am a visual practitioner and sociologist specialising in participatory visual media and community arts.
Currently a Research Fellow at Photography and The Archive Research Centre, University of the Arts, London, I am working on an AHRC research project that examines the role of the arts in reconciliation processes. I also continue to be a Research Fellow at Goldsmiths University where I completed my PhD in Visual Sociology in 2015. Co-founder of PhotoVoice, I co-directed the organisation for its first 10 years (1999-2009). Here I developed participatory photography methods and projects with marginalised groups in many parts of the world working on long term projects with refugee youth and with therapeutic photography; I produced a number of resources and had the great privilege to work with a thriving network of photographers, collaborators, participants and NGO partners.
I wear various professional hats but my interest in each of these modes, whether it be as a social entrepreneur, researcher, project manager, facilitator, academic or activist, is the same. I am concerned with the collaborative production and strategic use of images for social change. I am interested in how people use the visual to advocate, enable dialogue and facilitate an engagement with difference. Images are paradoxical: they can work to stigmatise people but also have the potential to act as catalysts for changing how we see each other and ourselves. Through my work I seek to push forward the ways we think about and use images as tools for social change.
My work has been recognized by awards from The Beacon Fellowship (shortlisted, Young Philanthropist of the Year 2005), The Charity Awards (Winner Arts and Culture Charity 2003, Winner Best New Charity 2004) and the UK's Royal Photographic Society (Winner of The Hood Medal for outstanding advance in photography for public service 2010).
I currently work on a range of participatory visual media projects in both academic and non-academic contexts. Please do contact me to discuss collaborations.