Mural @ Complex High School, St. Croix.

La Vaughn Belle & Jeannette Ehlers:      Photo: Helle Stenum

I Am Queen Mary, 2018

Courtesy of the artists

Reclaiming history

The Fireburn Files Project is NOT about finding the ultimate truth about the past, but an attempt to facilitate the creation of a shared platform of accessible historical sources both written and oral, for dialogue, interpretations, accounts, exploration and understanding of Fireburn and its implications.


After the sale of Virgin Islands, the archives of more than 200 years of colonial power and administration were brought to Denmark. In 2017 The Danish National Archive scanned many of the documents and made them digitally accessible on their website, including those relating to Fireburn. However, the documents are handwritten in old Danish language style and only transparent and accessible for a limited group of people. Archival material on the Fireburn is also found in US archives and British Archives. 


Oral histories 

In the US Virgin Islands, Fireburn is often told through oral family or community histories, lyrics in songs and re-enactments, and families have ancestors, who were involved.  


Fireburn Files Project

The Fireburn Files Project intends over time to bring these different sources together on a web-based platform, where documents are transcribed and translated in English and oral histories are recorded and documented. 




Pilot version of Fireburnfiles.dk

From 1st October to 31.December the web platform will exist in a pilot version. Especially people from the USVI are encouraged to comment

On-line events on the Fireburn Files Project will be announced here and in the Newsletter.

Photo: Niels Meilvang/ Information

Inauguration Copenhagen 1st Oct 2018 of La Vaughn Belle's & Jeannette Ehlers': I Am Queen Mary

Events and dates






Pilot version of Fireburnfiles.dk ends

31.December ends the pilot period.

Work in progress version of Fireburnfiles.dk

Blog opens


Visco; Virgin Islands Study Collective:

La Vaughn Belle, Visual Artist.

Tami Navarro, Ph.D., Associate Director, Barnard Center for Research on Women,

Hadiya Sewer, PhD, Research Fellow in AAAS at Stanford

Tiphanie Yanique, Author, professor Emory University


Jeannette Bastian, professor, Simmons University

Gunvor Simonsen, Associate professor, University of Copenhagen

Pernille Ibsen, Associate professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Anna Kirstine Schirrer, Anthropologist, Columbia University

Rikke Halberg, M.A. History and English

Bertha Rex Coley, M.A. History and English

Helle Stenum, Phd, filmmaker



Jens Villumsen for the tireless work in transcribing more than a thousand pages from the Archives

George Tyson for generously handing over documents and writings and sharing his immense insight.

All the enthutiastic students who volunteered in the first phase of the project to translate documents, which unfortunately was not a sustainable way forward.

Nina Trige Andersen for assisting with the website.

Frandelle Gerard for the enthutiastic support and future collaboration on the oral history part.

Jeannette Ehlers for support and performances