i gave a ted talk //



photo: victoria pickering

photo: victoria pickering

i gave a tedx talk last night about my immigration detention. i spoke on the criminalization of immigrants and economics of of the prison industrial complex. remember ava duvernay's 13th? well, it failed to mention that immigrants are the "new" market for the prison industrial complex. 

i am grateful for the opportunity to share a part of my story with the TEDcommunity. i must admit that it was both frightening and incredibly satisfying. 

in truth, i'm convinced no one listened to a word i had to say because these pants, The Fon's Culottes, designed by Nyorh Agwe stole the show. i mean....look at them. 


i was told i was the best dressed person to hit a ted stage, i'm putting that bit on my resume!!! lol....no seriously.

many thanks to all who shared the evening with me. your energy was felt. i'm grateful. *i cannot tag all of you, additional thanks to angela, kaye, tony, emma, the other tony, mark, aja, kendahl, taylor + all.

the video will publish on ted's website + youtube within the next few weeks, i'll be sure to share.

much more to come, stay connected at here and here.

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.