POC Zine Project’s mission is to makes ALL zines by POC (People of Color) easy to find, distribute and share. We are an experiment in activism and community through materiality.
Some things we are NOT:
- A distro (we can point you to distros that have POC zine inventory, also just search our Tumblr!)
- A taste-making mechanism (we want all POC creators to thrive)
- A place for academic folks to mine for data and misrepresent the info we share (please contact us directly with questions before making assumptions)
- The authority on zines by POC (Who is claiming to be that? That’s a tall order to deliver on, as it isn’t humanly possible to know about the existence/location/access info of every single zine by POC at this time)
Learn more in the FAQ at the bottom of this page.
POC Zine Project curates and produces a traveling POC zine exhibition/#RaceRiotTour, has established an archive, cultivates digital platforms that share POC zines and provides grants, tools and events for zinesters.
We recently completed our first tour through 14 cities in 2012, which included events at 6 universities. Click here for the recap.
Our 2013 tour will be NATIONAL: 20 cities! More details coming soon!
If you want to help today, please consider donating any amount you can afford to support our events, mini grants for POC zinesters and more.
DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to send a check or money order. All funds go to touring and research costs. Thank you!
We are 100% volunteer and DO NOT have 501(c)(3) status OR a fiscal sponsor. This is an intentional choice to move freely without the oversight or control of the nonprofit industrial complex. We will revisit an operational funding model that works for us in 2014, as we do need consistent funding to remain an active project after 2013.
POC Zine Project was founded by Daniela Capistrano in 2010.
We are, at our core, a curation project and advocacy platform. POCZP is a gateway into a highly intersectional experience of POC & ally knowledge sharing and community building.
We are committed to being a welcoming and safe place of healing for people of color, both online and offline.
Zines are a vital component in the long tradition of self-publication. They share knowledge and experiences that supplement (and often contradict) the information that other sources distribute, encouraging free thought.
There are several valuable zine collections in the United States (many accessible online) but none that are devoted to curating POC zines while partnering with educators, universities, activist networks and DIY/punk networks of all stripes. We aim to change that.
WHY IS THIS CALLED ‘POC ZINE PROJECT’?
Daniela founded the POC (People of Color) Zine Project in 2010 after years of struggling to locate new and older zines by people of color, both offline and online. The same ones seemed to be in every zine distro and there was very little representation from POC at zine conferences and other zine events.
Books written about zines rarely included zinesters of color and Daniela was confused about why and how zinesters of color somehow seemed invisible within DIY and punk communities. It didn’t make sense, because she was a person of color who made zines and she knew there were more POC out there doing the same thing.
After complaining about this lack of visibility since 2002, Daniela finally decided to do something about it in 2010. She created a Facebook page and Twitter to promote zines by people of color and organized some events.
Word started to spread and it became clear that POC Zine Project was more than just a Facebook page, a Twitter account, some events and emails: Zinesters of color started supporting the project and our community continues to grow, slowly but surely.
Our mission is guiding us but we’re still not sure what the end result will be of POC Zine Project - but we’re excited to find out.
Some F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)*
1. What can I expect to find on this Tumblr?
This Tumblr is a curation project and part of POCZP’s community outreach strategy. We will take what we learn through this Tumblr and apply it to the launch of our official website (coming soon!).
Content on this Tumblr is broken up into categories (in progress):
Community Submission: Bookmark this tag to stay informed on all the poc zines submitted by POC to POCZP through Tumblr.
Zine Spotlight: Bookmark this tag to find POC zines featured by POCZP.
Zinester Spotlight: Bookmark this tag to meet POC zinesters featured by POCZP.
Archive: These are the zines POCZP has added and/or is in the process of adding to our physical and digital archive. We recommend that librarians check this tag frequently.
The contents of this tag does not reflect our entire archive. If you have questions about the POCZP archive, email email@example.com. We are in the process of making our archive available online.
POCZP News: Check this tag for updates from behind the scenes.
Questions: This tag aggregates questions we’ve received, as well as our responses.
Community Spotlight: Bookmark this tag to stay informed on all the people and projects we’re excited about. This tag tracks content that isn’t necessarily about zines.
Call for Submissions: Bookmark this tag to stay informed about calls for submissions for zines by people of color.
Zine Events: Bookmark this tag to stay informed on POC Zine Project’s past and upcoming events worldwide.
Scene Report: Bookmark this tag for zine and community events we’ve attended and/or are helping out through signal boosts.
2. I’m interested in participating in POC Zine Project events/supporting overall efforts/interning for POCZP.
Great! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include “POCZP VOLUNTEER” in the subject line.
Make sure to indicate what you’re interested.
3. Wait, you’re not a distro? Shouldn’t you be distro’ing zines by POC? Why do you even exist then, if not to distro POC zines?
POC Zine Project is not a distro and we do not intend to function as a distro in the foreseeable future. We are an advocacy platform and are focused on, among other initiatives, supporting POC-run distros.
When we produce live events, we do table with some relevant POC and ally materials, including POC-authored/edited zines. We also curate a traveling zine exhibition, which has been growing over time (but those aren’t available for purchase, as they are duplicates representing what is in our archive).
We also table at other orgs’ live events and provide supplemental materials for sale and trade. We like to provide the service of making it easy to (at these events) access independently published materials by POC as part of our advocacy platform’s goals.
However, maintaining a distro is hard work — ask anyone who distros. We are a 100% DIY and volunteer entity and 90% of our work is unfunded. The little funding we do get is by donation and goes directly back to touring and other related costs. Many of our collaborators contribute their own funds.
There are pros and cons to being so unhindered from nonprofit/corporate funding bureaucracy and censorship. One of the pros is that we do what we want, when we want to. That is very liberating.
One of the cons is that we don’t have a consistent source of funding at this time. That will change in the future, as that is part of our long term strategy. But right now we are scrappy, and we like it that way.
So, we have chosen to focus our efforts as an advocacy platform for now and will evaluate incorporating a distro if/when we have the resources to do something like that.
We are also not a sole source for, or ultimate authority on, zines by POC. When we spotlight zines or share community submissions, it’s to point you to the creators directly — to place orders and to engage with them. But there are many other POC out there making zines.
Our mission is to make zines by people of color easy to find, distribute and share. We are a project — a POC zine-focused project — and within our paradigm we accomplish a lot with very few resources. We know we can make a greater impact in the long term being true to who we are, vs. feeling obligated to function as a POC distro. We’re happy with our progress so far and know there’s a lot more work to be done.
All of the zines we table with are through our zine partners, who are presently SlushPilePress, For The Birds Collective and Maximumrocknroll. You can get most of the same zines we table with directly from them via snail mail and also in person at events (if you are near them).
We continue to receive this distro question despite having published this answer repeatedly, so to make sure everyone has this information, we’re adding it to our About page. Thanks for your support!
4. I submitted my zine to you a super long time ago and haven’t seen it featured yet? What gives? Was it not “cool” enough for you?
When you submit your zines to our Tumblr & it takes a while for us to post, it’s not because we are discriminating in any way (the only criteria for us to feature a zine is that it was made by/with POC!). Most of the time it’s that we have a que of submissions we need to publish in order of submission date, and that que is HELLA LONG—which is a great problem to have.
In 2014, we’ll be involving more volunteers to help with the submission que and other needs. In the meantime, we’re focused on tour planning and appreciate your patience.
If you suspect there might be an issue with your submission (likely it was a Tumblr fail), please re-submit to email@example.com and we’ll feature your zine ASAP! Again, thanks for your patience!
We don’t function to be POC zinester or zine tastemakers. We organize to build community and to advocate for more representation of POC creators and to help with access to resources. We feature ALL POC zinester submissions. So if you haven’t seen yours yet and it has been a SUPER LONG TIME, reach out!
*We are working on a proper FAQ page for community members. Stay tuned for updates.