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 Maria Creech

Maria Creech

Research student,


I am a PhD candidate at Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Culture as part of an AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with Imperial War Museums. My research seeks to engage critically with the language used to describe and contextualise photographs produced around British and Dutch colonial counterinsurgency campaigns in South East Asia during the postwar period (1945-60). 

Prior to my PhD, I completed a BA in Art History at Cambridge University and an MA in Museum Studies at the University of Amsterdam. I also conducted photographic research as part of the curatorial team at the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam. 


Research interests

My research interests include:

  • Museums & Heritage

  • Memory Studies

  • Visual & Material Culture

  • 'Difficult Histories' & Their Legacies

My current work with IWMs explores how original captions and museum-ascribed descriptions have consciously or unconsciously supported colonial narratives and influenced audience understandings, focusing on representations of the so-called Malayan 'Emergency' across the sites of the newspaper, the archive and the museum.

Previous research has focused on the memory and representation of victims of the Third Reich. My research is informed by my own experience and cultural background as someone of dual (English & Polish) heritage.  


Reframing ‘Emergency’ and ‘Bersiap’: A comparative study of annotated photographs taken during British and Dutch colonial counter-insurgency campaigns in Southeast Asia between 1945-60

Funding source



Tom Allbeson

Dr Tom Allbeson

Lecturer in Cultural History


Professor Claire Gorrara

Dean for Research and Innovation for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor of French Studies