Love Letter for Seven Speakers

Derica Shields

4–5pm, Saturday 27th July
Please book via Evenbrite here
In response to Civic Duty, writer and researcher Derica Shields presents a new reading accompanied by sound work – an oral letter to Black people surviving the UK welfare state. 
Since August 2017, Derica has interviewed seven Black Londoners about their encounters with social services. As that project comes to a close, she reflects on the experience in the form of a letter that draws on the texts informing the project and converses with the anonymised interviews. This work honours the creative resourcing involved in survival and political (self-)education as a strategy to stop us feeling “quite so crazy”, to draw on the US writer Audre Lorde, when we are gaslighted by the British state.

After the reading, there will be a break to decompress, drink tea, chat and move about in the space, followed by a 30-minute discussion.
The reading will take place in a darkened room. More accessibility information here. There will be an opportunity to view the exhibition Civic Duty in the main exhibition space which continues until 28th July.
Derica Shields is a writer, researcher and programmer from London. Her work has appeared in the New Inquiry, Rookie, Girls Like Us, Live Art Almanac, Flash Art and more. She is the co-founder of The Future Weird, a (now defunct) screening and discussion series centered on experimental, world-unravelling films. As part of a 2017 Triple Canopy commission, she is developing a multi-format oral history project centering on black people's accounts of the UK welfare state. She is also working on a book project commissioned by Hannah Black for a new Book Works series.
Developed with the generous support of Arts Council England, Cockayne and the London Community Foundation.
Image credits: A collage of quotes by Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie & Suzanne Scafe, Audre Lorde and Johnnie Tillmon.