Safer Young Lives is part of the Institute of Applied Social Research

Imagining Resistance

The Imagining Resistance project explores the potential of creative arts-based research methodologies to enhance our understanding of resistance amongst young people affected by interpersonal, sexual violence and abuse, including child sexual exploitation (CSE). The project brings an arts and humanities perspectives into a field generally dominated by discourses of child protection, safeguarding, and risk and seeks to bridge a theoretical gap between larger scale social processes of resisting oppression and the lived experience of young people who resist.

The three year project (2020-2023) will use photovoice, a participatory visual method and form of action research, to engage young people in creating images that represent their experiences of resisting victimisation, subjugation, oppression, and power. To do this, a series of 12-week photovoice workshops will be run with young people recruited in partnership with London-based charities supporting young people affected by interpersonal and sexual violence, including CSE.

The primary aims of the project are to develop, document and understand the contribution of participatory photography in engaging young people affected by CSE and other forms of interpersonal sexual violence; and to better understand the ways they resist, or develop strategies and strengths whilst being victimised. We hope that exploring resistance with young people will facilitate their own understanding of their experiences of interpersonal and sexual violence and the means to engage and support them more effectively.

The project is led by Dr Kristi Hickle (University of Sussex) and Dr Camille Warrington (University of Bedfordshire) in partnership with the visual artist Becky Warnock.

For more information about the project contact Dr Camille Warrington at


Safer Young Lives Research Centre
Institute of Applied Social Research
University of Bedfordshire
University Square