Brittny Dawkins, better known as 'emancipateyoursleves' or even Brittny Amanda is not just some Instagram popular individual but a force to be reckoned with.
Not only is she into "artsy shit" but there is more than just a 20 year old girl snapping away on her Instagram, there is meaning and memories captured within these minimal yet vibrant images that scream out EMANCIPATE YOURSELVES.
The taste of freedom and happiness is what you should expect when stepping into the world of Brittny Dawkins. The creative industry is one in which every individual has the free will to express themselves through whatever medium is preferred; in this day and age, most of the mediums will be the social media.
Dawkins takes us on her journey of self expression as she gladly answers a few questions I thought were appropriate for an easy read and of course group discussions.
--- Instagram: @emancipateyourselves
1. Who are you? Tell us in three to four sentences.
I am a black woman who does a ton of artsy shit and has a thing for fashion-inclined cities. I'm the last daughter of a Jamaican mother who sought a better life for her 4 kids. I am a culmination of black rage + black joy. I am a Being who is learning what it means to Be & learning what it means to grow.
2. What is your take on social media? is it helping us more than it is damaging or is it equally good and bad?
I think social media is power, both good + consuming. I relish in the fact that as a young 20 year old college student who wants to build her brand, has the power to do so. I've connected with so many artists on all sorts of levels. On the downside, we're wired. I can't tell you how much it saddens me to be with a group of friends and we're all videotaping the whole night away while fake laughing with the screen in our eyes the whole time. We're really truly wired into this shit... but I mean if you're aware of that, you can change it. Limit the social media you have, do social media ‘detoxes’ when need be. Stop being anxious to explore the world, sometimes you need those moments for just yourself.
3. Your Instagram shows off an aesthetic that exudes culture, colour and little pieces that give your followers a sense of who you are as a person. Why the name ‘emancipateyourselves’?
Hahaha that's so dope. Really warming to hear because that's really what it's all about. I enjoy showcasing the bits of my life that I find joy or liberation in. Emancipate yourselves has been a mantra of mine derived from Nesta Marleys' redemption song. This has been a soul-searching experience for me. I think the biggest message anyone could learn from me is - to emancipate themselves. You can take that phrase and flip it for when need be. Emancipate yourselves from prisons. There is so much to this life that we aren't indulging in because we don't see the plate. There is so much freedom in removing limitations, conquering your mental health, expression through art, fighting for the cause, doing life in the name of you... That’s freedom. And more.
4. With the recent and unfortunate events that follow the #BlackLivesMatter, what do you have to say about this?
Black Lives Matter is a plea that I hate to say but have to. It's an unnecessary tattoo on my black forehead. But it comes with this skin, and for that, I fight for this skin. With Alton & Philando, this time around, I took time to unplug, meditate and care for my mental health which is something I want to heavily stress to my family + friends. While taking our gentle time with healing, I do believe it is a dinner table discussion. I do believe in activism + expression. I do believe in being that one black person in the room that will fend for themselves when bombarded with the derogatory, illogical "All Lives Matter" and will rant on until he can't breathe that 'all lives cannot matter until black lives do.' Out of all the protests I've been in Washington, DC they never fail to scream out these 4 sentences "“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
5. Capturing provoking images as well as what I call ‘easy-on-the-eye’ images, do you think photography is something you wish to nurture into your future? What are your plans?
I think when people first reach out to me, they always refer to me as a photographer and I'm really not, lol! It's never really occurred to me but I do appreciate archives + editing. I love capturing the general essence + tones of a space or person. I love memories. I love the feeling of looking into a model's face + feeling something. I love looking at someone's artwork + picturing the millions of strokes and sketches they used in intricate detail. However, I have been thinking about photography for lifestyle usage and hopefully continue to build. I get so inspired by minimalism + bright colours, body types, postures & poises... that it's about time I really got to work.
My current plans are building up my new website featuring my writing pieces, visuals, meet the creatives + a self-care Sunday series.
Love & Light.
-- Brittny Dawkins
"Add to the net value of the Universe." -Rumi