Accessing what you always knew you needed

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley (UK)

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How do you access your past when it doesn’t exist anymore?
How do you see yourself when the world refuses to reflect you?
How do you archive someone who has been erased by the archive?
We know who we are. We feel the loss of our history with every moment we breathe. With each story we remember another is lost. We need each other. We kept each other here. Yet we hardly seem to exist.
Each body holds an archive. The past has taught us that history will erase us while it pretends to remember us. So now it’s up to us. Those of us who need to be remembered so that those in the future know that they have a linage.
Black Trans people are not new. If fact we are as old as time but the whispers buried us. It’s time to hold the responsibility of keeping those of us in the present in our memory.
I’ve needed you
You’ve needed me
And I’ll never let you be forgotten

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Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley (UK) is an artist working predominantly in animation, sound, performance and Video Games to communicate the experiences of being a Black Trans person. Their practice focuses on recording the lives of Black Trans people, intertwining lived experience, fiction and interactivity to create work that refuses to let viewers be passive. The work is often seen as a form of autonomous archiving in which the experience shifts and moulds based on the identity of the user as well as the choices they make during the experiences. 


These video commissions are presented in the framework of the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.