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Love Doesn’t Save Anyone from Themselves: An Interview with Angeli Cabal

Angeli Cabal

I first encountered Angeli Cabal’s work as the co-editor-in-chief of {m}aganda Magazine. My staff and I were blown away by the pieces she submitted–poems critiquing colonialism, Western beauty standards, and the figure of the Filipino woman. I was stunned to see that in addition to being a poet, Cabal is also a visual artist and multi-genre writer who creates sleek, intricate, highly clever illustrations and incredibly heart-wrenching creative essays. In addition, Cabal has been a devoted fanfiction author since age 12 and has garnered an impressive online readership on Tumblr. In 2013, Cabal self-published her first chapbook, True Love and Other Myths, which sold out after the first printing. She went on to publish a second chapbook, The Anatomy of Closed Doors, joining the ranks of  poets and writers who use social media as their vehicle. Cabal’s work is raw, evocative, hands-on, and accessible. She joined me for a conversation where we discussed fanfiction, our immigrant parents, and which three fictional characters she would invite for a session of afternoon tea.

MV: I’m not sure if you’ve read this recent Buzzfeed article about women and fanfiction, but they argue that fanfiction is a central genre for women writers because it allows us to create narratives that are not available in everyday life. Why fanfiction? Why should we keep writing and reading fanfiction? What power does this form of creation give us?

AC: It’s been 14 years since I started writing fanfiction and I’ve never grown out of it. Fanfiction is so much more accessible for me because of world building. In fanfiction, you already have this world created for you so there’s less pressure and you can focus on the narratives you want to tell, particularly characters you want to transform and flesh out. When you have these characters presented to you and you see all the paths and avenues the author could have taken to make them more human, these are awesome opportunities to take. It is also such a supportive community, I can’t even read some of the stuff I wrote back then because it was so horrible but I get reviews that say, “Hey, this is really good, keep it up.” That was so important for me as a young writer because no one else knew I was writing fanfiction. It really encouraged me and is one of the reasons why I still write fanfiction today. Continue reading

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Filed under Art + Comics, Books + Literature, Interviews

You Could Be There: SOLOCOM 2016 Picks

2016_solocom_icon_reversedIf you don’t already know, SOLOCOM is NYC’s Only All-New Solo Comedy Festival. The fest takes place November 17-20 and since comedy often gets a reputation for being…less than feminist (ok, that’s an understatement), I felt it my duty to highlight the most subversive shows being performed at the 4th Annual SOLOCOM.

SOLOCOM was founded by the wonderful Peter Michael Marino who to this day remains the only teacher in my many years of schooling–comedy and otherwise to say that misognist, homophobic, and racist writing would not be tolerated in his classes (I remember seeing one male student leave and never come back). I have followed Marino’s work as a performer and the work he supports as a producer and festival programmer ever since.

Marino, over email said that he created SOLOCOM four years ago “to provide artists with a nourishing platform to debut brand new work solo comedy material.” Having worked in the solo show and comedy genre for so many years as a solo writer, performer, producer and director, he thought there was a gap in solo performance that needed to be filled. “Many solo shows can fall into the category of naval-gazing and sentimentality, and I wanted solo artists to have a place to create work that had a comedic bent while having universal themes and mold-breaking concepts of execution.”

Additionally when asked about why it’s important for people to start to dust themselves off from our collective post-election mourning, Marino said: “We need comedy and entertainment now…more than ever.”

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Filed under Funny Feminism

So Wet: Crying & Gender on The Bachelor

Artwork exploring female tears, the romance plot, and the fantasy of reality in the Bachelor franchise.


The Whole Package - The Bachelor artworkThe Whole Package, 2016, Fabric, thread, packing peanuts, 35 x 29 x 6″


Please Accept My Rose - The Bachelor artworkPlease Accept My Rose, 2016, Fabric, thread, dye, gesso, polyfil, 19 x 21 x 14″

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Filed under Art + Comics, Movies + TV