Kerstin Hacker

Co-Course Leader and Senior Lecturer, Photography

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Cambridge School of Art

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Photography

Research Supervision:Yes

Courses taught: Photography

Kerstin Hacker’s research interests investigate the perception, (self-)representation and visual self-governance in low income countries. While working on her own practice-based research, she is co-initiating a network of photographers, cultural institutions and academics in Zambia.

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Kerstin Hacker graduated from FAMU, University of the Applied Arts in Prague, Czech Republic in 1993. Her degree show series 'Maternity Ward' was awarded Female Photojournalist of the Year (Germany). She was awarded the Alexia Foundation Student Award (US) in 1995 for her MA series Einsame Heimat / Osaměli ve Vlasti. In 2009 she received funding from British Council Educational Partnership in Africa Grant and in 2017 won the Best Paper Award at the Bridging Gaps: National Identity in Persona, Branding, and Activism Conference in Perth, Australia.

She is currently completing her practice based PhD 'Shooting in Africa: (Re)negotiating Zambia's Colonial Library Through Photographic Practice', which explores how the un-learning of established documentary photographic practices can dismantle an imagined visual familiarity with the African continent and can overcome the perceived 'otherness' of its citizens.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • German
  • Czech

Research interests

  • Visual Self-Governance
  • Photographic narration of self in low income countries
  • North-South artistic collaborations
  • Photographic Practice-Based Research
  • Collaborative and decolonising research methods and methodologies
  • Decolonising art and design curricula
  • Diversifying and expanding the visual library

Areas of research supervision

  • Decolonising Photographic Practice and History
  • African Photography
  • North-South artistic collaborations
  • Art and Design Education on the African Continent
  • New photographic movements and institutions in Africa
  • Black practitioners in British and European Photography
  • Politics of representation
  • Under-investigated material like family albums and lost, damaged or forgotten archives

Current PhD supervision: Caribbean Artist Movement (2nd Supervisor)


Kerstin currently teaches on the following modules:

Level 5:

  • Photographic Portfolio Practice
  • Media Process Situation

Level 6:

  • Major Project (Photography)
Teaching Awards and Fellowships
  • Dean’s Award Joint CSA course leader award for innovative employability strategies, Anglia Ruskin University, January 2018
  • Made a Difference Award ‘Outstanding Supervisor’ Anglia Ruskin University 2017
  • Made a Difference Award ‘Learning Community’, Anglia Ruskin University 2017
  • Made a Difference Award, Anglia Ruskin University 2014
External Examiner Duties
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • Falmouth University


  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Higher Education), Thames Valley University, 2007
  • Research Methods Post Graduate Diploma, Thames Valley University, 2005
  • MA Photography, Faculty for Film and Television, Academy for Performing Arts, (FAMU) Prague, Czech Republic. Title: Osameli ve Vlasti/Einsame Heimat – Photographic Essay of Sudenten Germans in Czech Republic
  • BA Photography, Faculty for Film- and Television, Academy for Performing Arts, (FAMU) Prague, Czech Republic

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Honorary Fellow of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP)
  • UK proposer of Photo of the Year Award – UNICEF
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the German Photography Society (DGPh)
Peer Reviewer
  • Visual Communication, Sage Publishers
  • Celebrity Studies, Routledge

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Project coordinator - Research and Innovation Collaboration Fund, ARU (£1500) - _PhotoCovidZambia, since March 2020
  • Co-Investigator Ecosystems for Healthy Ageing Communities Network Grant led by Prof Carol Brayne, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, 2020/21
  • Research and Innovation Collaboration Fund (£4000), Anglia Ruskin University, 2019
  • Sabbatical Research scheme (£10000), Anglia Ruskin University, February to May 2017
  • Research Assistant funding / UG Researcher Scheme, Anglia Ruskin University, 2014 – 2017, 2019
  • Educational Partnerships in Africa Grant (£60000), British Council, Sep 2009
  • Educational Partnerships in Africa Travel Grant (£3000), British Council, March 2009

Selected recent publications

Hacker, K. (2022 - upcoming) Chapter tbc in Borge, M., Documentary Photography Reconsidered, Bloomsbury, New York

Hacker, K. (2019) Generation Z in Uncertain States Issue X

K. Hacker (2018) Generation Z in Photomonitor

Hacker, K (2018) Mill Road Cemetery in Contemporary Cambridge, Ruskin Arts Publication: Cambridge

Hacker, K. (2018) Generation Z: Visual Self-Governance through Photography. In Lam, C.and Raphael, J. (Ed.) Personas and Places Waterhill Publishing: New York

Hacker, K. (2017) Fostering visual Self-Governance in ZambiaCUSP Blog

Hacker, K. (2015) Maternity Ward in The Eye of Photography

Recent presentations and conferences

  • European Conference of African Studies, Panel Convener and presenter, Edinburgh University (11-14. June 2019)
  • Contested Discourses of Africa Rising: The struggle for control of the image of the foreign partner British Academy symposium, University of Leeds (10/12/2018)
  • Post-representative Participations: Engaging with Civic Action in Times of Digital Citizenship Conference, University of Brighton (16/11/2018)
  • ASAUK (African Studies Association) 2018 Biannual Conference, Media and Politics stream, University of Birmingham (11-13/09/2018)
  • Bridging Gaps Conference, Fostering Visual Self-Governance in Zambia, University of Western Australia, CMCS Research Group, Perth (10/12/2017) - Best Paper Award

Media experience

  • BBC World Service
  • Zambian Broadcast Corporation
  • Interviews for Podcasts