We are pleased to announce the selection of two Otherwise Fellows: Devonix and Martha Riva Palacio Obón.

The 2019 Otherwise Fellowship committee (Rox Samer, Gabriela Damián Miravete, Vida Cruz, and Ana Hurtado) describes their work as follows:

It is our belief that Devonix and Obón’s projects are pushing forward the boundaries and possibilities of the speculative, playing joyously with the traditional sense of el género (which, in Spanish, means genre and gender at the same time) across a range of mediums.

Devonix photographed by Roy Guste

Devonix’s contributions to the New Orleans drag scene challenge how we currently understand and access speculative fiction. In the fusion of genre and drag, Devonix encourages audiences to critique our dystopian reality and imagine other possibilities. Devonix’s drag king performances are fiercely intelligent, provocative, and playful. It is extremely pleasing that the Otherwise Fellowship will be used to further the career of one whose robot overlord performance deconstructs and rearranges like a jenga game how we think of gender.

Martha Riva Palacio Obón

Martha Riva Palacio Obón is a writer and sound and media artist, who creates hybrid projects through words and sound. Her current project seeks to bring her fascination with outer space into inner space. Human and non-human memories, her grandmother’s voice and the chirping of crickets, her own body and voice, all meld into a fascinating exploration of the space a body occupies. Obón erases the line we constantly draw between us and them: our bodies and planet Earth, our consciousness and an expanding galaxy, our sense of self and every single being surrounding us.

We are also proud to announce an honors list, which includes Marina Berlin, M.L. Krishnan, Kailee Pedersen, and Aigner Loren Wilson. The committee is extremely excited by the work these writers and artists are doing in gender and speculative fiction and look forward to following its development.

*

The Fellowship program, now in its fifth year, is designed to provide support and recognition for the new voices who are changing our view of gender today. Each Fellow will receive $500. The work produced as a result of this support will be recognized and promoted by the Otherwise Award.

Over time, the Fellowship program will create a network of Fellows who can build connections, provide mutual support, and find opportunities for collaboration. This effort will complement the ongoing work of the Award — that is, the celebration of speculative fiction that expands and explores gender by imagining otherwise in thought-provoking, nuanced, and unexpected ways.

If you would like to donate to the fund for future Otherwise Fellowships, you can do so here. Let us know if you would like your donation to support the Fellowships program specifically.

To read about the work of our previous Fellows, click on their names below.