Sireita Mullings Lawrence

Visual Sociologist | Researcher | Artist| Photographer | Educator

Research Interests!

Participatory and visual research methods, the role of the photograph in the lives of young people, youth, youth culture, class, gender, social enterprise, social exclusion, marginalization, postcolonial studies, race and representation and informal education.

I am interested in anything that helps us better understand the social structures that people have become a part of. I have spent the last few years exploring post-colonial legacies of marginalisation as rendered in the visual works of youth arts participants and practitioners. How young people articulate and socially position themselves through the art works they engage and create, is what informs an aspect of my photographic practice. With my participants I explore themes of criminalisation, marginalisation, governmentality, belonging, danger and safety,  and reflexivity.

Through photography and digital imaging my intention is to amplify how young people critically engage with their respective worlds. Knowing there are many practitioners whose work is informed by working with young people and the arts, I am of the view that there is a need to discuss the way the artist, researcher, arts practitioner draw upon the experiences of the youth arts process reflexively, in the creation of their own work. This is because grass roots arts projects are often a rich and valuable source of knowledge which assists in sociologically contextualising youth practices but are often un interrogated.

in a "Nut Shell"

I studied graphic design and photography at the Edna Manly College of the Visual and Performing Arts and the University of the West Indies (Jamaica), where I taught photography for a number of years.  I completed my PhD whilst at the Center for Urban and Community Research CUCR, Goldsmiths University of London. I have recently completed a post doc teaching fellowship, where I was course convener for Culture, Representation and Difference and seminar lecturer for; Making of the Modern World, Issues in Contemporary Society, and Theorising Contemporary Society in the department of sociology.  I was a visiting lecturer in the Education and Social Therapeutic and community Studies (STACS) departments at Goldsmiths College in London,  and taught photography at Lambeth College.

I am also a freelance creative project manager, researcher, and  arts practitioner who has worked with various youth and arts organisations such as; 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, Refugee Youth (NOMAD), Nubeyond, Reprezent, Kori, Tate Exchange, and National Portrait Gallery.

Publications, Papers, Seminars, Talks & Exhibitions

The magic of the mic: demonstrating value in community programmes whist making sense of the anecdote; BERA, British Educational Research Association, University of Nottingham, April - 2015

Reflecting on Reflexivity. International Visual Sociology Association Conference, London, July - 2013

Reflexive Participant, Reflexive Practitioner. Tate Britain Seeing Through Conference, London, Feb - 2012

Artistic Transitions to Citizenship. International Sociological Association. ISA Transitions Conference, University of South Florida. Tampa, Jan - 2012

Using the Arts to Engage Young People in Social Enterprise. LCT Luton, Jan - 2011

Reflexivity and the Practitioner. The Social Life of Methods, St Hughs Oxford, August - 2010.
Navigating Personal Spaces. Using Visual Methods with Young People in Lambeth.
International Visual Sociology Association Bologna, May - 2010.
Camera, Starburst, Trainer:
The significance of photography in the lives of young people. Exploding Objects Conference, Goldsmiths University of London, Jan - 2010.
Post Code Wars:
Young People and Visual Representations of Space. 1st International Visual Methods, Leeds, September - 2009.
Mapping Dangerous Spaces: Young people and the Post Code War. British Library, June - 2009
Artistic Youth and Social Enterprise. Evaluating Arts programs Conference. Brown University, Boston, USA. Nov – 2008
Image and imagination. The role of the image in the lives of urban youth. University of Gothenburg, Sweden Sept-2006

Current Projects

Becoming Radio Ready: An evaluation of community arts programs with Goldsmiths University of London, Social Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCS) department and Represzent youth radio.

Lebens(t)raum: Exploring the cultural retentions of Jamaicans of German heritage and the social mobility of Germaican young people.

Voices from the front line:  Conversations about the meaning of place and the loss of it through regeneration with 'front line' men and women of the 70s and 80s in Brixton.

Post Colonial Legacies: Book Proposal

Rendering the Real: Book Proposal


CARISC The Lighthouse. Scotland (2017)

‘Untold Gold’ – OXO Tower. London (2013)

‘Rendering the Real’ – 198 Contemporary arts and Learning. London (2013)

‘Who Sid Boys Hate Flowers and A Cry to My Brothers’, National Gallery of Jamaica. (2007)

‘Brixton Open’ Betty, Morton Gallery, London, (2005)

‘Historisicim’ 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning (2003)

‘Across the Nation’ Bridge Gallery, Miami Florida (2003)

'The Jamaican Influence' Fridge Gallery, Brixton, London (2002)

‘Corridors’ Jamaica cultural Development Crown Plaza hotel, Jamaica (2001)

‘Young Generations’ Exhibition Mutual life gallery, Jamaica (2000)

‘Women in images’ Philip Sherlock Creative arts center, Jamaica (2000)

Entered the JCD (Jamaica Cultural Development) annual Photographic competition years 97, 98, and
99 receiving a total of 9 merits and a silver medal for the best manipulated print.

Curating of symposiums and exhibitions
Rendering the Real symposium and exhibition 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, London, 2013.

Different Endz symposium and exhibition 198 CAL, London, 2010.

Digital Expressions II -
198 CAL, London, 2008.

Urban Vision: Metropolis -
198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, London, 2006.

Digital Expressions-
Brixton Art Gallery, London, 2006.

The Jamaican Influence Exhibition - at the Fridge Gallery, London, 2002.

Women’s international day of Art -
Phillip Sherlock Center for the Creative Arts University of the West Indies (UWI MONA) 1999.

Professional Bodies

Institute of Higher Education - Fellow


Awards / Professional Certificates

PGC in the Management of Teaching and Learning.

Essential skills in Youth and Community Work.

Arts Award - Silver Tutor


Projects in the pipeline

Using Format