2016 Otherwise Award Fellowships Winners
Porpentine makes stories and games that draw on the powerful world building potential of science fiction and fantasy to experiment with gender, femininity, and/or non-normative mental states in new ways. She describes her work as being “about the visceral body, a body that sweats and dissociates and aches and desires and above all fights for itself until the day it dies.” In addition to making her own work, much of which is available for free online, she has popularized accessible tools for working with electronic literature, running workshops and helping people online.
She will use the fellowship to pay for rent and healthcare to ensure that she can focus on her current projects – feminine-centered work that innovates both technology and socially, often in collaboration with other disenfranchised women.
Mia Sereno is a visual artist and poet who uses her art to explore the weight of her heritage as a queer Filipino which in her words means being “heir to a history of struggle and revolution, colonization and war; descendant of women who spoke and fought, built and taught, and were as unflinching in their pursuit of their goals as they were whole hearted in love.” She describes her work as arising at “the point where women and monsters wear the same face,” where she can celebrate “the act of throwing off conceptions of women and femininity that were imposed on us by colonizers.”
The support of the Otherwise Fellowship will help Sereno bring her project, a series of illustrations tentatively named The Magnificent Ones, to fruition. The series reimagines Filipina woman as near-mythological figures of fantastic grandeur.
The Fellowship Committee also decided to award honorable mentions to writers Emily Coon, Marianne Kirby, and K. Tempest Bradford. We will let you know more about their work later this month.
The Otherwise Fellowship program, created in 2015, is designed to provide support and recognition for the new voices who are making visible the forces that 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.
We intend to continue to provide Fellowships in future years. 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 on-going work of the Award — that is, the celebration of speculative fiction that expands and explores gender roles in thought-provoking, imaginative, and occasionally infuriating ways. The Otherwise Award is intended to reward those writers who are bold enough to contemplate shifts and changes in gender roles, a fundamental aspect of any society.
The selection committee for this year’s Otherwise Fellowships was made up of the 2015 Otherwise Fellows, Elizabeth LaPensée and Walidah Imarisha; Otherwise Award winner Nike Sulway; and Otherwise Motherboard member Alexis Lothian.
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.