the culturally specific categories of french racial terminology defy a faithful translation. and pigments contains other terms for people of African descent, “limbé” refers to “poupées noirs,” translated as “black dolls.” noir’s inclusion as an identifying noun in Pigments prohibits the translation of nègre as “black.” nor does english have a loanword for nègre, like “mulatto,” borrowed from the romance languages’ mulâtre. thus, in the caribbean nègre had a pejorative connotation that most closely translates into english with the word “nigger,” a derogatory word in its english context. but “nigger” rests in the american cultural conception of the united states’ racial history, not the caribbean or the french empire’s racial relationship to its colonies.

 

Desirée Venn Frederic is a Sierra Leonean born writer and installation artist of Geeche and Maroon ancestry. Her work pulls heavily from her transnational experiences and understandings. The artist and thought leader explores identity, ownership and contemporary ideas in aesthetics. As the founder of Nomad Yard, a globally minded vintage shop in Washington, D.C., Venn Frederic creates a playground for those who love culture, history and rare antiques steeped in stories. She uses her work to negotiate multiple strata of marginalization being both undocumented and an aboriginal indigenous woman. She is an interior designer creating experiential spaces and interiors. She is a community organizer and founding member of Artist Union DC, with a keen interest in cultural studies and artistic expression. She is particurlarly interested in the ways in which fashion, visual culture and critical theory inform, shape and encourage discourses surrounding the socio-economic, political and cultural. Venn Frederic has shared her creative interests as an exhibiting artist with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center drawing parallels of her own personal immigration detention in 2013 to the criminalization of human existence throughout history. She holds degrees in Fashion Merchandising, Business Management and a certificate in Community Advocacy and is fluent in French and Krio. As a speaker, she has engaged TED Talks as well as audiences at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, The National Endowment for the Arts National Maker Faire, Ted Talks, Made in DC Maker Summit, General Assembly, and Creative World’s Creative Economy Summit. As an ambassador with Define American, the activist shares her personal journey to expand the narrative of immigrants. She exists via the internet sphere simply as @xoDVF. She is a mentor to 2 college aged creative entrepreneurs and loves vintage kimonos.