CREAM (Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media), University of Westminster, is a world-leading centre and pioneer in practice-based, critical, theoretical and historical research in the broad areas of art, creative and interdisciplinary practice. 

CREAM runs a dynamic programme of exhibitions, screenings  and talks throughout the year. CREAM researchers take part in wide ranging academic and public engagement activities, reflecting the diversity and international scope of our research culture. For upcoming programmes visit events.

Doctoral Programme

The CREAM doctoral programme hosts a thriving international community of researchers exploring issues in art and design, film, photography, moving image, ceramics, cultural studies, art and technology/science, and music.


Hope Strickland, still from: I’ll Be Back! (2022)

Artist filmmaker and CREAM PhD researcher Hope Strickland, has two films screening at this year’s London Short Film Festival (LSFF).

If I Could Name You Myself (I Would Hold You Forever) (2021) is part of a special screening curated by TAPE Collective on the theme of motherhood. The film explores herbal resistance and reproductive agency, specifically looking at cotton root bark as an abortifacient for creole women during slavery.  

Hope Strickland, still from: If I Could Name You Myself (2021)

I’ll Be Back! (2022) is in the UK Competition as part of a programme titled ‘Soil, The Great Leveller’. The film begins and ends with the story of the rebel slave Francois Mackandal. In 1758, Mackandal was condemned to be burned at the stake, not only for his crimes but for his radical powers of metamorphosis. Filmed in archives and museums across the UK, I’ll Be Back! explores a series of collections holding objects of colonial violence. In doing so, it seeks to interrogate institutional collecting practices and the distances between myth, fabulation and machinations of power.  

Hope Strickland, still from: I’ll Be Back! (2022)

“I’m very happy to be screening two films at this year’s LSFF! I’ll Be Back!, in particular, feels pivotal to the way my practice is developing. It begins an approach to filmmaking that seeks to unpick the temporal fractures that become evident when positioning work across 16mm, digital and archival practices. I hope to explore further ideas around marronage, fugitivity and diasporic landscapes in my PhD work”. – Hope Strickland

Now in its 20th year, LSFF is an internationally recognised, independent short film festival, held in cinema venues across London.  


In the darkest times buried underground, spots of lights begin to emerge from the ground”.

This year, May Adadol Ingawanij and 3-ACT Film Collective in Myanmar launch a new collaborative project on film writing and curatorship, funded by the British Council’s Connections Through Culture scheme.

Prof Ingawanij and 3-ACT had previously worked together as part of the first edition of Ecological Futurisms in March 2022, resulting in Lights from the Underground, shown as part of the Solidarity Programmes: Artists Moving Image from Ukraine and Myanmar.

Lights from the Underground brought together for the first time a unique programme of media arts and experimental films by a dynamic generation of young artists in Myanmar. Drawing on research by artist and co-founder of 3-ACT Moe Myat May Zarchi, the programme presented at Ecological Futurisms, collected eight moving image works from Burmese new media artists and filmmakers, many of whom joined the screening to introduce their works and be in conversation with May Adadol Ingawanij. The programme provided a unique insight into rich and resilient artistic communities. As Moe Myat May Zarchi has stated, “although there has been a firm practice of artists experimenting with video art in Myanmar since the 2000s, there has only been a few filmmakers exploring film as an art form.” 

We are presenting the video of the conversation with Lights From the Underground artists and curator including Moe Myat May Zarchi together with Thaiddhi, Thu Thu Shien and Lin Htet Aung.

The new collaborative project between 3-ACT and Prof Ingawanij, Cinema in Transition, includes an online workshop series and mentorship of emerging Burmese and Southeast Asian film writers and curators. See 3-ACT’s instagram for the open call


Christina Peake, from: ‘Calypso’s Offering To The Spring Tides On Treasure Island’, The Sacred Ecologist – Turner Contemporary Digital Commission, 2021

Artist and educator, Christina Peake, has been awarded an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) with the National Archives and the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM). Christina Peake’s research project proposes Caribbean site-specific marine artworks as a practice of regenerative creative ecologies, advocating epistemologies and cosmologies to reflect inter-species and nature positive worlds. In creating work emergent from research of material from The National Archives (1850s – 1950s), Christina’s research contributes to establishing the Matters of Extraction research network.   

This project was initiated by principal investigator, Roshini Kempadoo through securing a collaborative doctoral partnership (CDP) between Matters of Extraction and The National Archives (TNA). The partnership is aimed at reinterpreting and re-contextualising the collections of Anglophone Caribbean materials (1850s – 1950s), seen as central to exploring ecological conditions. This artistic research project is emergent from TNA material as collections of colonial landownership, state governance, the development of fossil fuel extraction, mineral and other mining industries and related Atlantic trading routes. The researcher joins this recently formed multidisciplinary and international network Matters of Extraction (MoE) and will be underpinned by public engagement, exposition and a web-based publishing environment.   

Christina, who describes herself as British Bajan transdisciplinary artist, creator, educator and researcher, will join a burgeoning cohort of CREAM doctoral researchers as artists and critics and be part of The National Archives longstanding work with doctoral researchers. Christina notes: 

I’m excited to join the CREAM PhD doctoral programme and to have the support of The National Archives. The opportunity to work within CREAM and explore The National Archives to identify and amplify emergent ecological colonial histories within my practice, that can inform and impact restorative interventions in response to the climate emergency and wider aspirations for sustainable and just futures for all, is one of the highlights of my career to date.”  – Christina Peake (December 2022)

Christina’s timely approach to the Matters of Extraction brief at interview focuses her contribution on Caribbean marine ecologies, British colonial matrix of power as epistemic, cultural and environmental warfare and the creation of the archetypal ‘other’ of the natural world. This is in keeping with her established advocacy work, creating a collaborative public engagement programmes in schools and local communities. 

Christina Peake, from: ‘Play For A Day On the Sands Of The Home Isles’, The Sacred Ecologist – Turner Contemporary Digital Commission, 2021

CREAM researcher Roshini Kempadoo and collaborators Kevin Searle, Rachael Minott (The National Archives) and Uriel Orlow (CREAM) were impressed by the range of proposals. As Roshini comments: ‘We are in precarious times, with a generation of activists, critics and artists whose voices, action and creativity are vital responses to climate emergencies and imagining the future. Christina’s research will contribute significantly to work still to be done to re-envision colonial narratives emergent from archive material. As a vital contribution to the Matters of Extraction and CREAM’s research interests, her project will offer a timely exploration between environmental knowledge and national historical records.’ 

Matters of Extraction (MoE) is a research network of academics from a range of disciplines, artists, activists concerned with culture, ecological matters and social transformation. The network aims to develop a research agenda that explores the relationship between current ecological precarities and the black Atlantic world, investigating the inextricable links between communities associated with Atlantic life and its histories, ecological crises and extractive practices. The project launched in early November with a ‘preamble‘ event, featuring a film screening and discussion with collaborating researchers, Alissa Trotz and Deborah Thomas. MoE will return in the Spring with a series of events as part of Ecological Futurisms

For more information, please contact Roshini Kempadoo, CREAM, Westminster School of Arts, University of Westminster.