Ani/ Malayaworks engages in decolonial resistance work by using multidisciplinary performance and writing modalities to dismantle colonial practices and narratives
In 1978, I was named Annielille, a combination of Annie and Lille. Annie is a name popular in the US and Lilia is a Spanish name. I realized that my first name remains as evidence of the colonial influences remaining amongst my people.
My name is a combination of Annie from my paternal grandmother's name, Leandra, and Lille from my maternal grandmother's name, Lilia. I am honored to carry my grandmothers' names. However, I also feel weakened by it. To pursue my work on decolonialism, I changed my name. Ani. It is the root word of Anihan, meaning Harvest and Anitos, meaning Spirit.
Names carry power and my consciousness on the power of names began when I heard stories of African American activists Malcolm Little renaming himself Malcolm X and Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali. In the film based on Alex Haley's book, Root, the character, Kunta Kinte states, "Your name is power. Your name is your shield." When I gave birth to a Filipinx girl, I fought to name her a name from my ancestors. I gifted her the name, Malaya which in the Tagalog language means freedom.
Throughout Malaya's childhood, we used art to express and unpack who we are as Filipinx in America. Ani/ Malayaworks is a project-based performing arts company dedicated to resistance work. By using our own lived experiences and vulnerability, we hope to share our stories of resilience as a method to unpack and unlearn through art-making.
Throughout Malaya's childhood, we used art to express and unpack who we are as Filipinx in America. Ani/ Malayaworks is our project based multimedia company created to do collaborative resistance work. By sharing our own lived experiences, we aim to find spaces of freedom ( Malaya or Kalayaan ) by curating spaces for expression, community and spiritual connection.