MDOCS Storytellers' Institute

2023 Visiting Fellows

Justice Nnanna is a director, writer, researcher & artist. His work spans social humanitarian, ecological, and cultural topics, with a focus on the African diaspora and underrepresented communities in the Global South. Nnanna seeks to utilize dynamic storytelling, research, and digital mediums to frame the cross-cultural effects of globalization on Socio-Enviornmental realities.  On Juneteenth 2021, Nnanna released, which proposes an opportunity to shrink America’s growing racial-wealth gap. His work has been shown globally including at Cinema Galleggiante (Floating Cinema) art festival in Venice, Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, and at the UN Women’s Conference. He is grateful to collaborate with partners seeking to build a more healthy and equitable world. 

Danny Thanh Nguyen (they/she/he equally) has published stories and essays in GQ, them magazine, The Offing, The Journal, and elsewhere. In 2022, they have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Caldera Arts, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Ucross Foundation, and Carolyn Moore Writers House. Her column on kink and leather culture has appeared in the international social network platform Recon. Find him on social media @engrishlessons. 

Isabella Vargas is a multimedia artist who works at the intersection of media and activism. She works with experimental and nonfiction forms by combining captured footage and drawn animations to rewrite narratives about her intersectional communities. Vargas questions the marginalization of people and their relationship with disability, ethnic identity, queerness, and their ties to intergenerational trauma. In tandem with her art practice, Vargas is a disability activist and gleans her narratives from direct interaction with members of the communities for whom she is advocating, striving to give a platform to their voices. Her storytelling prioritizes community building and care when amplifying the voices of those traditionally silenced.    

Boen Wang is a writer, audio producer, and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s MFA program in nonfiction, where he specialized in audio storytelling. His written work has appeared in The Sunday Long Read, The Fourth River, Inheritance, PopMatters, and elsewhere. His audio work has appeared in WNYC’s Radiolab, KCRW’s Bodies, WESA’s The Allegheny Front and The Confluence, and was selected as one of The Bello Collective’s “100 Outstanding Podcasts of 2020.” He is the winner of the “Best New Artist” award at the 2020 Third Coast International Audio Festival, a finalist for the 2021 HearSay Audio Festival Prize, and a 2022 AIR Media New Voices fellow.

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