It is a great honor to present the awardees of the first annual 2013 MOTHA Art Awards! With just under 2700 votes and over 400 nominees throughout all categories, the individuals and the projects listed below have been chosen to be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the transgender cultural landscape, as it currently exists at this very specific time (2013ish) and place (North America, mostly).
Artists of the Year
Laverne Cox | Caldwell Linker | Amos Mac
Performers of the Year
Ivan Coyote | Red Durkin
Stage Productions of the Year
F.A.G.G.O.T.S. the musical | The Fully Functional Cabaret
Transition Vlogs of the Year
Red Durkin | We Happy Trans
Writers of the Year, Literary
Imogen Binnie | Kate Bornstein | Ivan Coyote
Writers of the Year, Critical
Janet Mock | Dean Spade
Artist Books/Publications of the Year
Nevada by Imogen Binnie | Original Plumbing magazine
Musicians of the Year
Big Freedia | KOKUMO | Rae Spoon
Hirstorians of the Year
Susan Stryker | Transgriot.blogspot.com
Archives of the Year
Center for Sex and Culture | Trans Oral History Project
Solo Exhibitions of the Year
“Body of Work” Heather Cassils | "HAG–small, contemporary, haggard" Vaginal Davis
Group Exhibitions of the Year
"Queers in Exile: the Unforgotten Legacies of LGBTQ Homeless Youth" curated by Alexis Heller | "Twat/fest" - Trans Women’s Arts Toronto Festival
Art Film/Video of the Year
MAJOR! | She Gone Rogue | Wildness
New Upcoming Artists of the Year
Hannah Barrett | Erika Bijeljic | Imogen Binnie | KOKUMO | Morgan M. Page
Unrecognized Artists of the Year, Hermit
Malic Amalya | Elliott DeLine | Raphaële Frigon | Nicki Green | Dalice Malice | H. Melt | Mirha-Soleil Ross | Thu Ha Vu | Tobaron Waxman | Quito Ziegler
Unrecognized Artists of the Year, Too Busy Surviving
Ben McCoy | Chelsea Manning | Morgan Sea
THE NOMINATION & VOTING PROCESS The award nomination period, which took place across September and October 2013, and the voting period, which occurred over the entire month of November 2013, were open to all who desired to participate. Voters were asked to make their choices based on their own thoughtful and thorough research of every single nominee in each category, and not to be motivated by nepotism or coercion. Ultimately, winners were selected because of their merit, because of their own enthusiastic online campaigning, because they were the most recognizable name on the list, or a combination of all of the above. The MOTHA Awards seek to highlight transgender contributions to our current cultural landscape while also highlighting the limitations inherent in such a system of competition, exclusion, tokenism, and positive-image pandering.
LETTER OF RECkoning In gratitude for participation the Executive Director of MOTHA has written a blank customizable letter of recommendation for use by all nominees and awardees. It is available HERE.
AN ARCHIVE OF NOMINEES Nominees are invited to email MOTHA (email@example.com) with links to their online portfolios or personal web sites. That list will be compiled and made public, for posterity, here on the MOTHA web site.
* Awardees receive nothing but the title, and must determine for themselves if and to what extent it signifies recognition of the merit of their work. Due to the close number of votes in most instances, no distinction has been made between winners and finalists.
LINK TO PRESS RELEASE
“despite all the strides the queer movement has made, on the whole, we still do not love and cherish transgender people enough, especially young trans women and trans men of color. We do not see them as we should, as the flowering of our movement, as our hope.”James Baldwin felt he was part of his elders’ hope for the future. How can we make it possible for young trans people to feel that for themselves?
these are the best poets of my generation. get familiar with their work.
The Dark Noise Collective is a group of my friends & inspirations, all poets of color who recently formed this spoken word collective combining mediums of spoken word, theater, multimedia, to create poetry that challenges notions of power and identity.
I’ve done a few projects with them including book covers, and animations, and look forward to see what they produce in the future. Each of them are incredible mergers of writing, art and activism, and they are some poets to look out for, and if you need writing inspiration I encourage you to check them out.
JAMILA WOODS is a poet, singer, playwright, and teaching artist from Chicago, IL. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poetry has been published in a variety of journals, including MUZZLE and Radius. Jamila was named Best Female Poet (CUPSI) in 2009, and is the two-time winner of the Louder Than A Bomb College Slam (2008 & 2010). She is a founding member of Young Chicago Author’s Teaching Artist Corps, where she teaches poetry writing & performance at high schools throughout Chicagoland. Her first chapbook was released in 2012 by New School Poetics Press.
Jamila’s theatre creds include dramaturgy work on By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at the Goodman Theatre (May 2013) and assistant directing Tartuffe at the Court Theatre (June 2013). Her first full length play entitled All Who Have Sinned was produced at Brown University’s Black Lavender Festival in 2012.
In 2011, Jamila became the frontwoman of soul-duo band Milo & Otis. Their first album The Joy, was hailed as “mold-shattering” by the Washington Post, and is available for online listening at hellomiloandotis.bandcamp.com.
From the Trans Oral History Project:
In 2012, we launched the Trans Oral History Zine Distro which collects and distributes zines by trans* authors, zine compilations that include trans* authors, and zine compilations about LGBT history that are trans* inclusive. We are open to zines addressing a variety of issues, but we specifically are interested in zines that reflect people’s real life experiences (as opposed to rants, visions, and theory). You can search and download electronic copies of all of our zines online in our Story Bank. Additionally, we distribute physical copies of zines at local zine shops, conferences, zine festivals, and everywhere we go. Submit your zine today online.
Shops that carry our material:
- Left Bank Books (Seattle, WA)
- Quimby’s Books (Chicago, IL)
- Wooden Shoe (Philadelphia, PA)
Distro Guiding Principles
- We want to promote as wide of a variety of voices, gender expressions, and life experiences from the trans* community as possible
- Stories belong to the people who live and experience them.
- Our #1 priority is to increase trans* community members’ access to stories from other community members
- We collect money to help sustain the project but it is not the goal of the project
Distro Policies & Practices
- We will distribute any zine by a trans* author that includes non-fiction recounting of their own experiences.
- We distribute zine compilations that includes trans* authors and zine compilations about LGBT history that are trans* inclusive as long as they are in line with the values of the project.
- We ask permission from all zine creators before distributing their zine unless the work is specifically anti-copyright/copy left.
- We attempt contact 2 times before distributing zines without explicit permission.
- If any zine creator contacts us with requests about how/where/when to distribute their works, then we will honor them.
- We will never knowingly sell a zine in competition with the original creator.
- We are always open to negotiating pricing with individuals to make zines afforable to anyone who wants one.
- Any money generated from selling zines goes to sustain the Trans Oral History Project.
i’m a big fan of her writing.
Ryka Aoki: Why she kicks ass
- She is a writer, performer, and educator who has been honoured by the California State Senate for for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.”
- She is also head instructor of Supernova Martial Arts, whose mission is to empower LGBT youth through martial arts and self defense, and was a charter member of the Transgender Advisory Committee for Asian Pacific Islanders for Human Rights (APHIR).
- She appears in the recent trans documentaries “Diagnosing Difference” and “Riot Acts” as well as the anthologies Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, and Transfeminist Perspectives (Temple University). Ryka has as an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets.
- Her chapbook, Sometimes Too Hot the Eye of Heaven Shines won the RADAR’s 2010 Eli Coppola Chapbook Contest. Her first full-length volume, Seasonal Velocities, was released this year by Trans-Genre Press, the first press operated by and for trans people in the United States.
- Ryka was the inaugural performer for San Francisco’s first ever Transgender Stage at San Francisco Pride 2005, and has performed in venues including the San Francisco Pride Main Stage, the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, the National Queer Arts Festival, Ladyfest South, Atlanta Pride, UCLA’s OutCRY, Santa Cruz Pride, and Emory University’s Pride Week.
- She was keynote speaker at UC Santa Barbara’s 2005 Pride Week, GenderFusions 2008 at Columbia College, UW Madison’s Trans Awareness Week 2009, the 2010 Transaction Week and UC Davis, and the 2010 QPOC Conference at UC Riverside.