Interview with Gabriela Damián Miravete

Gabriela Damián at the Mexicanx Initiative English language group reading (Sent by Julia Rios; photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? Where can we find you on social media?

I grew up in Mexico City, and I'm still here because I love it as much as I suffer it!

I'm on Twitter as @gabrielintica and on Instagram as @miradavaga, sharing photos of the books I read and the places I travel to.

What kind of creative work do you do?

I’m a film journalist and a writer of fiction and essays, mostly about the fantastic, science fiction, and literature and cinema, always with an intersectional feminist point of view. I formed a collective called Cumulo de Tesla, in which a bunch of sci-fi writers, scientists and artists make funny things that cut the distance between science, arts and the real people. On Twitter: @cumulodetesla

Three Messages and a Warning for sale at Worldcon 76 (Photo by Alberto Chimal)

Had you ever been to a Worldcon before?

Yes! The year Three Messages and a Warning was published, the 30 or so authors of the stories in the anthology were invited by the dear Chris N. Brown and the committee. But I was the only one who attended. It was awesome!

What did you expect being part of the Initiative would be like? How did your experience compare with that expectation?

It was way more than I expected. I thought it´d be a brief encounter with a community I love and admire but I don't belong to, and suddenly, I am part of that community! Because the gates were really open, not for just a few days, but for a long time. I still can't believe it.

The English language Mexicanx Initiative reading group: Libia Brenda, Gabriela Damián, Felecia Caton Garcia, Julia Rios, Mario Acevedo, Manuel Gonzales, and Andrea Chapela (Sent by Julia Rios; photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Tell us about one highlight moment of your WorldCon experience.

The Hugo Awards Ceremony, where Ursula K. Le Guin, an author who is very important to me, personally, won the last of her awards; but it was not only her, but a lot of women, too, including Nora K. Jemisin, whose work I admire so much, and Julia Rios, who was so awesome and generous all the time not only as a colleague but as a friend inside The Mexicanx Initiative.

Recommend any or all of the following: a song, a written work, a piece of visual art, and a movie. Tell us why you love them!

Veronica Murguia is one of the best authors in Mexico. El angel de NicolasLobaAuliya, each and every one of her books are beautiful works of art that talk about magic, animals, resistance in the midst of violence, and hope. I really hope she´ll be published soon in English, so more readers can enjoy her astonishing stories.

And Gabriel Mariño's cinematographic work is great: Ayer maravilla fui (Yesterday I was wonder) is an excellent piece of the post-Guillermo del Toro-Iñarritu-Cuaron Mexican cinema of the fantastic that you should check out, because it's awesome!

What was the funniest thing that happened during your trip?

There were a ton of funny moments! But probably when Libia Brenda, José Luis Zárate, and I went running for copies of A Larger Reality to give to all the Mexicanx at the welcome party. We went running from one hotel to another, the books were so heavy, the sun was unforgiving, and there was zero air conditioning in the room when we came back, so we finished all sweaty and windswept, but we were so happy to share the evening, at last!

Where should new people start familiarizing themselves with your work?

I´m very interested in making the kind of literature that gives hope, that gives relief, even in the middle of a terrible context, through imagination, I really think our future depends on it. I firmly believe in the real, political power of imagination. So I wrote a story about femicides (one of our most urgent social problems) and a different future for Mexico (an ambiguous Utopia, as Ursula K. Le Guin would say), and you can read it here. Please do :D. Hope you like it!

Pablo Defendini