We had the good fortune of connecting with Britney Cooke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Britney, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I have always been into working with creative mediums since childhood. As I grew older and continued to use art to express myself, I began to learn about how important art was in a revolutionary sense. Now, I want to use my art and creativity to educate and provoke thought. To make folks question the life that has been created for us on this planet, to feel that deep, tucked away feeling, that something is off. Something is missing. Now, I want everything I do to be in alignment with my life purpose, to love, to feel, and to dismantle oppressive systems.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m not quite sure how to describe my art. I would say I create 2 modes of art though, the personal and the political. I say this ironically. I use art to express how I’m feeling internally, sometimes just as a form of self therapy, sometimes just to make pretty things to make me feel happy. Then I use it to express my deep sorrow and grief towards the outside world, and a call to radical action. I still have conflict about what, how, and why I create. I dabble in multiple mediums including poetry and prose, digital art, photography, and traditional art. Sometimes I’m not sure what medium to use to express myself. I have to overcome mental challenges daily, I just try to jot down ideas as they come and allow them to develop without pressuring myself. I am still not exactly where I want to be, and I still feel I have so much to learn, but I am excited for the journey. My story is that of revolution. My brand is that on conscious expansion and change.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my friend was visiting my city (Winter Park, FL), I would first take them to eat at my favorite vegan spot that is also ital Jamican called Dajen Eats! They serve the absolute best vegan food I’ve had so far in Orlando and have the most delicious vegan ice-cream I’ve had in my life! Since I’m a huge foodie, we would definitely be hitting some more food spots. I would also take them to Loving Hut, a vegan Vietnamese place with an extensive menu that has something for everybody! For brunch, I would take them to Ethos Vegan Restaurant where we can get a nice sized Carafe for $15 and eat outstanding vegan pizza with vegan cheese that doesn’t taste like plastic haha. One of the most fun things to do in Orlando though is checking out the nature spots, being from south florida, there wasn’t much forresty area and I love that I can find that in central florida. My favorite place to go is Geneva Wilderness area!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
One of the most pivotal factor in my shift from creative to cultural worker was becoming a member of Fempower Miami, queer black feminist organization. This collective was what made me truly see what community looks like in praxis for the first life, and they continue to poor love into me and help me grow. I would also like to thank Orlando Dream Defenders for allowing me to be a member and help me to organize and show up for the community I currently live in. I would also like to thank Campesinxs Garden Apopka for filling my heart with love and helping me to reconnect with my agricultural roots. It is a blessing to commune in nature and learning to grow food with the black and indigenous community in Apopka.