1. What inspired the title of your zine project NAMELESS: A Post-Traumatic Self?
NAMELESS is actually the name of my brand I started about two years ago when I moved back to Los Angeles. It’s a platform that allows me to create experiences using different writing mediums without having to bind myself to one title. I’m a poet , I’m a journalist, I’m an essayist , I’m a screenwriter. I’m a writer. It can mean so many different things. Hence The NAMELESS part. A Post-Traumatic Self came about randomly toward the end of the project. When thinking about what this compilation of work represented to me, it felt like a shedding of past traumas and who I’ll be after this chapter closes is my post-traumatic, better, self.
2. Throughout your zine, you reference time. How does time influence NAMELESS?
Over the last two years as I’ve written APTS I’ve been obsessed with military time. Being able to see my entire 24 hours makes my goals seem more in reach. I began to note all of the dates and times that Î wrote my poems and journals as a way to see what my golden hours were and also as a way to remember the exact moment and physical state I was in when î wrote each piece (for nostalgia’s sake). Time has given me anxiety and still does sometimes but the only thing that allowed me to move forward is time as well. So in that sense I would say time is everything good and bad.
3. How does your Dominican background impact your identity?
A lot of people don’t see it, but I carry my background with me in everything I do. My duality, my liveliness, my passion and drive. It all comes from being an Afro-Latina and being proud of my plight as such. I was raised around black culture more than I was raised around Dominican culture. Growing up in Los Angeles I was the girl that looked mixed but spoke Spanish. In a predominantly Mexican culture, I wasn’t accepted as easily and I hated the look of surprise that would occur when I opened my mouth to speak my native tongue. However, my mom did a really good job of teaching me that although we’re of Spanish decent we’re still black women. I went to DR over the summer and it made me angry that a lot of Dominican women neglect their blackness and project colorism so much. Even some of my darker Dominican family members don’t think they’re as beautiful and I’ve seen some of my lighter family members turn their nose up at them. It’s a subconscious conditioning that’s really difficult for me to try to make sense of in my own family. It shows in the comments they make and the awkwardness that comes about when being a black spanish person is discussed. In every small way I’m doing my best to help my culture unlearn that.
4. How does your identity reflect in your work?
My identity is in everything. My outspokenness shows in how wordy my poetry is. My vulnerabilities as well. I see myself as a lover first and a writer second. That’s how it’s always been and how it always will be. Love takes passion and openness in order to be received fully and that’s my identity in its truest form.
Annessa De La Cruz is a Los angeles based writer and creator of NAMELESS. A platform that curates experiences around writing mediums. Free of cemented concepts, Annessa and NAMELESS aim to grow and shape-shift with ever changing characteristic of words.