Derica Shields

Derica Shields is a writer and editor from South London working across disciplines with a particular focus on Black aesthetics, cultures and epistemologies. Her criticism and essays appear in Art Review, Frieze, Flash Art, and Girls Like Us, and in catalogue and gallery publications. She is a former contributing editor at the New Inquiry and LIES journal, and former Features Editor at Rookie.

Derica has programmed film screenings and taught classes internationally. Between 2013 and 2015, she co-ran The Future Weird, a screening and discussion series that placed experimental shorts and features by Black and Global South directors alongside clips from the news, archive film, and blockbusters. In 2017, she co-taught Cinema in Black with Fanta Sylla, a nine-week class on Black auteurs and experimentalists. She has also given talks, lectures and workshops at Light Work, the New School, and BAM, New York; the ICA, Frieze Art Fair, South London Gallery and Somerset House, London; and RCMC and Metro54 in Amsterdam.

Over the past several years, she has experimented with schematic writing and orality through commissions from Cell Project Space (2019), Wysing Art Centre (2019) and Turf Projects (2021). Her oral history project A Heavy Nonpresence (Triple Canopy, 2021) gathers seven Black Londoners’ accounts of the British welfare state. She was a 2022–23 resident at Jan Van Eyck Academie where she developed 'Given to Cottons and No Silk', a two-channel video installation. In 2023, she gave the second annual Sylvia Wynter Lecture at King’s College London. Her book Bad Practice, which considers the potentials of Black failure, is forthcoming from Book Works.