Almira Astudillo Gilles
History, Arts & Culture/New Eyes
Almira Astudillo Gilles is many things—writer, social scientist, and conservationist. Most notable among her accomplishments are a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for “Art and Anthropology: Portrait of the Object as Filipino” (an artist exchange project, which was included in the international anthology, Alternative Art and Anthropology, Global Encounters, Bloomsbury, 2017) and the 2012 Pamana ng Pilipino Award from the President of the Philippines. She divides her time between Chicago, where she is a Research Associate at the Field Museum, and the Philippines, where she founded Coast 22, a social enterprise livelihood program for women in coastal villages who make decorative items out of discarded fishing nets. Her book for youth, Hotspot, Cool Country: Biodiversity in the Philippines (Anvil Press, 2016), was a finalist in the Science category at the 36th Philippine National Book Awards, where it competed with two academic publications for adults.