Kerstin Hacker is a photographer, practice-based researcher and academic based in Cambridge, UK.
Kerstin’s artistic practice based research explores how the un-learning of established documentary photographic practices and the engagement with collaborative, slow research methods can dismantle an imagined visual familiarity with the African continent and can overcome the perceived ‘otherness’ of its citizens. Throughout her research Kerstin is collaborating with emerging photographers from Zambia. Together they develop strategies to contribute to a changing perception, representation and establish visual self-governance. She is exploring connections between Zambia’s photographic history, which is influenced by colonialism, socialism and most recently capitalism, and the current emerging visual practices in the country. Her long-term interests explore the use of artistic collaborative practice research to empower emerging artists from the global South.
Between 2009 and 2012 she received a British Council Educational Partnership in Africa Grant for a collaboration with the University of Zambia and since 2017 she is a Fellow of the Centre for Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). In 2021 she was awarded the collaborative Affect and Colonialism WebLab Fellowship from the Freie Universität Berlin together with two Zambian photographers.
Kerstin received a BA (Bakalaureát) in 1993 and MA (Magistr) in 1995 from FAMU, University of the Applied Arts in Prague, Czech Republic.. During her studies she was awarded Female Photojournalist of the Year (Germany) in 1993 and the Alexia Foundation Award (US) in 1995. In 1996 she moved to the UK and worked as a freelance photographer for national and international clients including The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian and Non-Governmental Organisations including Sight-Savers International, Comic Relief and Save the Children. Kerstin is currently completing a practice-based PhD ‘Shooting in Zambia: (Re)negotiating Zambia’s Colonial Library Through Photographic Practice’.
Kerstin is a passionate educator and has been leading undergraduate and post-graduate photography courses at the Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University since 2008.