Derica Shields
writer & programmer

Love Letter for Seven Speakers






A reading accompanied by audio interludes – an oral letter to Black people surviving the UK welfare state. Since August 2017, Derica has interviewed seven Black people living in London about their encounters with the welfare state for a project titled A Heavy Nonpresence, commissioned by Triple Canopy. 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. 

Sound Design & Editing
Shenece Oretha

Voices 
Ivori-Kai Bryan
S*an D. Henry Smith


Texts Referenced
“Transcript: Speaker 3” A Heavy Nonpresence, ed. Derica Shields, Triple Canopy, 2019

“Transcript: Speakers 5 and 6” A Heavy Nonpresence, ed. Derica Shields, Triple Canopy, 2019

Writing Against Tyranny and Toward Liberation by Dionne Brand, Barnard College, New York City, 25 April 2017

The Heart of the Race by Beverly Bryan, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Scafe, 1985

Lessons From the Damned: Class Struggle in the Black Community, by Damned, 1973

The displaced tenants paying the true cost of an inhumane housing policy by Dawn Foster, The Guardian, 2 December 2016

Make a Way Out of No Way by Saidiya Hartman and Fred Moten, Arika, Glasgow, 27 September 2014

Frontiers: Interview with Audre Lorde by Jackie Kay and Pratibha Parmar in Charting the Journey: Writings by Black and Third World Women, 1988

The Psychological Impact of Austerity: A Briefing Paper by Psychologists for Social Change, 2016

Public presentation by Assata Shakur, World Youth Festival, Havana, Cuba, 3 August 1997

Refrain from “War” by Bob Marley, sung by The I-Threes, Amandla: Festival of Unity, Boston, Massachusetts, 21 July 1979

Welfare is a Women’s Issue by Johnnie Tillmon, Ms Magazine, 1972