Hello dear human,
My name is Ana Alicia Velouise. My mother named me after a soap opera actress. I reclaimed my last name from my maternal family line as a political and personal statement in 2017 – ‘Velo’ is the surname of my Italian great-great grandmother and ‘Louise’ is the middle name of my grandmother. (My previous name was Ana Ottman.) My mother’s family is from Northern Italy and Scotland; they immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. My father’s family is from England and Germany; the German side immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-1800s and the English side were among the original colonizers in what was the Rhode Island Colony. I grew up in the beautiful desert of Tucson, Arizona, the oldest of five girls. Some identities I claim: cisgender woman, writer, artist, activist, bi-sexual, witch, counselor, introvert, and intersectional feminist. I currently steward a small plot of land that holds a historic Craftsman in Los Angeles, California, the traditional and unceded territory of the Chumash and Tongva people, where I live with my husband and our two cats, Iggy and Furiosa.
My personal mission is to support the rise of women in order to bring about liberation for all (including Mother Earth). As the oldest of five girls and a women’s rights activist, I’ve had a front-row seat to the impact of sexism, misogyny, and violence on women’s lives—and it has driven much of the work I’ve done throughout my career as well as my vision for the future. My professional career as a women’s issues advocate included work with organizations such as EMILY’s List, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Downtown Women’s Center. Along with being an artist-advocate-writer-woman, I support women developing radical feminist futures through my business, Women of Mass Creation.
In my visionary fiction and art, I explore themes of womanhood, girlhood, and self-determination. I write stories with women as the subject, not object, as a counter-narrative to how men and society define and explain womanhood, stories that illuminate and confer importance onto the minutiae and meaning of women’s lives and place them within a broader socioeconomic and political context. I’m intrigued by the healthy feminine and the toxicity of gender binaries, and what it means when women began to push back, creating a different meaning for their own lives and untying from society’s expectations. I write to make women’s lives visible and viable.
To your possibilities and liberatio,
Written on the Spring Equinox, 2019, while listening to Ani DiFranco’s ‘Not a Pretty Girl’ album.