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Queerness, Blackness, and Ilocano Expressions Through the Eyes of a Visual Artist and Archivist

Kahalla Bandy-Pasibe is many things: a creator, an educator, a lover. Born in Vallejo and based in Oakland, they utilize visual and literary art forms to explore vulnerability through the lens and intersections of queerness, Blackness, and Ilocano expressions.

"Somebody told me that greeting each part of yourself and being able to consult with them even as you decide who you're becoming is how we stay whole and integrate all the parts of our history," Bandy-Pasibe said. "It's something that I work with as I deal with my imposter syndrome as a multiracial queer person and artist in this world."

Bandy-Pasibe's creative work is a reflection of their reality, shaped by their experiences of being in community and sharing profound emotions such as grief, anger, and joy with others.

Exploring the complexities of Filipino American identity and the multiplicities of Blackness while navigating cultural expectations and conversations around queerness have been integral parts of their personal journey.

"My dream and belief in how I hope to inspire others to share and create are to open a space in the world where all of the parts of myself can exist," Bandy-Pasibe said.

Creation through writing and visual arts is a place where Bandy-Pasibe reflects and experiments as an ever-evolving artist and archivist. They refer to the work of people before them and those who remain active parts of their life.

"Having had the support of my family and loved ones to continue pursuing my art, taking risks with the ways that I express myself, and jumping into making that my profession really helped me to understand how much power and value there is in being able to express those raw parts of my development," they said.

Deeply rooted in a praxis mindset, Bandy-Pasibe works toward shaping a sustainable practice that centers communal care and honors intergenerational, diasporic legacies.

"As creative people, we're continually reinventing, deconstructing, and rebuilding every part of the way we experience the world," they said. "Engaging with other artists, researchers, community organizers, and activists is helping me to engage with the experiences of others in a way that's healthier rather than simply internalizing all of the world's pain."

Bandy-Pasibe continues to learn and explore new ways of sharing their artistic skills to make a positive impact on the world. With a background in gallery exhibitions and commission work, they are constantly reimagining how they can contribute to the community.

"I value the opportunity to continue creating myself," Bandy-Pasibe said. "I'm grateful for the spaces where I get to share new parts of myself and the commitments I'm making to transform as a person and the way that I do my work."

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