Alaska-based artist launches magazine exploring relationships in the first year of COVID-19

Masthead of Anecdote Magazine (Image courtesy of Nora Gecan)

Nora Gecan, an Alaska-based graphic design artist, started a new magazine as a platform to showcase the work of creatives. The theme of the first issue: reflections on how the past year of loss and isolation has changed relationships of all kinds.

She calls it “Endemic to the Pandemic.”

Anecdote Magazine, a print and digital download magazine, will showcase written and visual art. As she’s been gathering submissions, she’s heard many perspectives on how the pandemic has affected interpersonal relationships, relationships to space and time, and how we relate to life itself.

The idea for the magazine came to her in early January 2021 when it became clear that COVID-19 vaccines would become widely available and the collective experience of the pandemic would change dramatically.

“It’s sort of an alternative to the way that we’ve been absorbing information so intensely through news and social media, which are both very important but they can be very overwhelming,” Gecan said.

Gecan moved from Anchorage to Albuquerque in the fall of 2019. The move is temporary, while her partner is in school. She underwent her own feelings of isolation and disconnection from the place she calls home.

“I was really feeling disconnected because I do live in Albuquerque right now for a few years and I wanted to reconnect with my creative community back in Alaska and I have just been very isolated because I had gone through this big move and then the pandemic hit,” she said.

Gecan hopes the magazine will be an inclusive space for all kinds of voices.

“It’s meant to be a really inclusive space for people to pause and produce work that helps them to digest this really intense experience that we’ve all had in different individual ways throughout the past year,” she said.

Each issue will feature a guest Alaskan curator. For the first issue, Iñupiaq photographer Jenny Irene Miller will curate a section on Alaska photographers.

In addition to creative expression, Gecan also hopes it will become a community resource for creatives in Alaska. Everyone who makes a submission to Anecdote will be listed in a directory for anyone to access and find an artist or writer to work with or hire for future projects.

“It’s an opportunity to digest and integrate all these experiences so that it’s not just this constant anxious buzz of information and changing circumstances that we’re all just living through, as we must, every day,” Gecan said.

Submissions are open through April 6, and detailed information about the magazine, theme and submission instructions are available on the magazine’s website. The first issue will be available by print and digital download by mid-summer 2021.

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