Aunt Chloe: The Well Known Literary Magazine Returns To The Atlanta University Center

Her Campus CAU had the amazing opportunity to chat with Arianna Wilburn the junior editor in chief of the Literary Magazine Aunt Chloe. We discuss how the magazine was discovered after it was abandoned by previous graduates as well as what Arianna and her team plan to bring to the AUC center with this publication.

HER CAMPUS CAU: Hello! Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you know Spelman was the right school for you ? 

Arianna:  I'm Arianna Valbrun, pronouns she/her, a sophomore International Studies Major, Photography minor from Maryland. My Spelman story is a little bit different than most. It actually took of a lot of encouragement and convincing for me to come to Spelman. I applied to Spelman because I knew about the standard of excellence they had at this institution and the rich history of the AUC. That being said, Spelman went against everything that I thought I wanted my college experience to be, I wanted to go to a co-ed, large state school that valued arts. On paper, Spelman didn't really seem like a match. Long story short, the universe worked its magic and made Spelman the more affordable option. Once I got here and settled in I knew that this was the place for me. Though Spelman is not perfect, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else, and hope that in me being here I can have a meaningful impact or make some sort of needed change in this institution that I care for deeply. 

HER CAMPUS CAU: I know you are bringing the literary magazine Aunt Chloe back to the AUC. How did you find out about the magazine?

Arianna:  I actually found out about Aunt Chloe through my partner in crime, Cylantra Dees, who is also the current Editor- in- Cheif of Aunt Chloe: A Journal of Artful Candor. She had already been working on it with the previous editor in chief, Skylar Mitchell (who is absolutely brilliant and did a lot of the ground work to get Aunt Chloe back up and running). She is graduating this semester so she passed the baton onto Cylantra, who then asked me to be on her team as the junior editor in chief. Making literary magazines is something that I had previous experiences doing all through out highschool so I was very excited to take on this task. 

HER CAMPUS CAU :  What was the magazine about? 

 Arianna: Aunt Chloe is committed to arts/ writer-activism. Aunt Chloe is literally situated at the crux of every social justice advocacy movement-- forever bound by its mission of reclaiming denied time and space, and that is what it will continue to do.


HER CAMPUS CAU: What inspired you to bring Aunt Chloe back to the AUC center ? 

Arianna: For me, Aunt Chloe represents revolutionaries and activist. We want artist who are not afraid to start a dialogue on uncomfortable issues , people who want to make their activism ACTIVE. Spelman is OLD OLD but its students are not. Every year Spelman admits a new class of young womxn, with new thoughts who are ready to enact new change. Aunt Chloe represents the womxn with in this institution, not THE INSTITUTION itself because WE are Spelman. Artists of color who want to resist binary thought, open up more inclusive dialogues, revolutionize language surrounding identity, and womxnhood in general is what inspires us to keep the Aunt Chloe collective alive and create spaces such as Aunt Chloe where everyone feels more than welcome.

HER CAMPUS CAU: Are you apart of any other organizations ? What drew you to them ? 

Arianna: As I said before I am an International Studies major--photography minor, and I want to use these two disciplines to become a fashion journalist. More specifically, reporting on issues of sustainability and how fast fashion/ over consumption in the western world ultimately hurts black and brown people in nations of the global south.  In my free time when I am not doing Aunt Chloe related activities, you can catch me at Value Village shopping sustainably, styling people around campus, taking pictures, writing and bouncing new ideas off my Clark sister and newest Editor-in- Chief of HerCampus, Miranda. You may also find me learning what I need to learn, unlearning the things I should've never been taught, resisting the constraints forced onto me as a black woman and simply just creating. Recently I got the amazing opportunity to do editorial for i-D Magazine and talk a little bit about Aunt Chloe, sustainability, my take on beauty/fashion as a black woman here at Spelman, and pushing narratives of Afro futurism, which aligns so perfectly with the intersections of global journalism, and fashion photography-- my passions. Hopefully I can bring what I learned back to Aunt Chloe as we prepare for out first issue since 2011.

HER CAMPUS CAU: What plans do you have for the magazine ? 

Arianna: I want to create a library of knowledge through Aunt Chloe. As academics and change makers we often see this sort of gate keeping on intellectualism. I cant help but feel sometimes that there is an elitist attitude of "you are stupid if you don't know about this issue *inserts ridiculous wordy academic jargon that goes way over my head to hide the fact that the writer actually is not saying anything* ". I want Aunt Chloe to be accessible and inclusive. I want every word to be intentional, and hope that the reader comes out of it learning something new. The theme for this issue is "Womxn is Black". That can mean a lot of things. We are looking for submissions of short stories, poems, think pieces, photographs, fashion, paintings, essays, and any other literary/ artistic creation that exemplifies black joy, truth and triumph, queering space and time, revolutionizing language etc.

Anyone who wants to contribute can send submissions to [email protected] with their name in the subject line only.