Interview with Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley by Flatness for Feminist Review and Women’s Art Library April 2021
On a Friday evening in March Flatness met with Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley over Zoom for an in-depth conversation about her work, transcribed here. Danielle discusses types of gatekeeping which determine value and erase the presence of Black people from archives, technologies and markets. Through her work she seeks to create a foundation for other Black Trans people to build on top of, including making archives where they are not only centred but embedded in the fabric of her coding. She also shares her research into piracy and her dreams of hijacking capitalist business models to divert money from corporate monopolies in order to claim back power for the disenfranchised. I was interested to ask her about interactivity and how through her online works, blacktransarchive.com, blacktransair.com and resurrectionland.com, she is creating an alternative to the censorship and passive aesthetic activism promoted by social media platforms. We also speak about her non-linear approach to technology reviving technologies to repurpose them for use by Black Trans people. And how she emphasises accessibility in her work and the importance of setting out terms and conditions as a way of holding people (and gatekeepers) to account.
The interview, as part of Feminist Review Currents Issue (129, November 2021), is now available to read open source.