Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley

Looking at Our Ancestors’ Secrets

Part of “Spirits, Jinns & Avatars”


English / approx. 20–30 mins.

Danielle Braithwaite Shirley invites us on a shared musical journey into the depths of the ocean's history. As part of a playthrough of the game “Pirating Blackness / BLACKTRANSSEA.COM”, which will be shown as an installation at HAU2 during the festival “Spirits, Jinns & Avatars”, the artist will present the music of the game in a performance live in front of an audience. “The ocean speaks. Are you ready to hear it?”

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley's immersive computer game reconstructs the lost history of Black trans people in the Atlantic slave ship crossings. It presents an alternative past in which the ocean is magically animated and refuses to be an accomplice of colonisation. Shirley, who returns to HAU after her appearance in 2022, fantasises “about the search for Black trans history lost in the water” and “imagines a narrative of an ocean that refuses to let us drown”. The room installation transforms the physical space into an ocean where participants use themselves as currency to play the game. How will they rewrite history and, consequently, the present? Visitors embark on a journey of ancestors in a commemorative ritual to find out what their roles would be in the alternative present day. Press any button to enter!

This event can be combined with “Rites of Spring I: PURIMSPIEL” by Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends at 20:00.


  • Past
    Mon 6.3.2023, 19:00 / HAU2


Hallesches Ufer 34, 10963 Berlin

Wheelchair users are kindly requested to register their attendance at least one day before the performance. Thank you for your understanding. If you need help, please contact our Ticketing & Service team at +49 (0)30 259004-27 or send us an email to

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