M.A. Lanik is a writer fueled by a neurodivergent impulse to exhaustively research anything that grabs her interest. Fascinated with the stories we tell ourselves through art, her primary artistic focus is media criticism with a particular fondness for the themes of fandom, nostalgia, and mental health. She graduated from Allegheny College with a bachelor’s degree in English on the Writing Track. Her senior thesis in journalism explored genre criticism within independent music and college radio. Her current project, “Hard to Watch,” explores violent, frightening, or otherwise inaccessible films and television shows and their place in our culture. During her time at PLAYA, Lanik will expand her work on “The Bad Parts,” a series of vignettes based on the Earth’s most dangerous and remote places that she co-created with Angela Oddling. In this piece, a personified Earth grapples with the guilt and introspection that accompanies her interactions with her human inhabitants. PLAYA’s campus and its proximity to a range of natural phenomena will help inform her work through immersion that she cannot otherwise access from her hometown of PIttsburgh, PA.