POC ZINE PROJECT

Posts tagged Donation Spotlight

COMMUNITY SUBMISSION: Islam Book, a zine exploring Islamic identity 

TITLE: Islam Book
RELEASE: April 20, 2013
ORIGIN: Vancouver, Canada
AUTHOR: Paradise Xerxes Khanmalek
ABOUT ISLAM BOOK, BY PARADISE:

Islam Book is zine about voice, appropriation, and an assertion of a complex racial and sexual identity. With Islam Book, I am attempting to complicate the reader’s perception of what exactly an Islamic identity is in order to assert the inclusion of Queerness, weirdness, varying languages, and general humanity. 
I am also trying to reclaim middle eastern pattern and calligraphic aesthetic from the visual appropriation I observe in mainstream visual media. I have included a lot of poetry written with farsi letters that spell out english words that attempt to investigate my own Islamic queer identity and call to action other queer POC to engage in a critical dialogue about the body and internalized racism.

WHERE TO BUY: Email lillymalek@yahoo.com or follow hifrog.tumblr.com and submit your interest as a question. Paradise will take it from there!
POCZP will be offering a few copies of Islam Book at this year’s DC Zinefest.
ISLAM BOOK IS NOW IN THE POCZP ARCHIVE!
Paradise is one of many POC who have donated copies of their zines to the POC Zine Project archive. Donations are critical to our work, as we are a 100% volunteer organization and rely on direct donations to function outside the nonprofit industrial complex. We purchase zines directly from POC whenever we can, but donations are especially appreciated.
Click here for info on how to donate your zine to POCZP.
Here is Paradise’s donation statement for 14 copies of Islam Book:

My name is Paradise Xerxes Khanmalek. I’m submitting my zines to the POC Zine Project because making zines is one of the only mediums I have felt comfortable enough to challenge extremely pressing and personal racial issues. I have felt a dire need to engage with other POC about issues I find important, and the most successful way I have found is creating and distributing my own zines.

Hopefully by submitting Islam book and my other zines to the POC Zine Project, I can create a larger dialogue, engage in more discussion, and reach the eyes of more POC.
 
The POC zine project was really exciting to learn about because I feel a constant lack of support for POC in my community and my body and the POC Zine Project seems to be a real, active, force that challenges white power, and connects and strengthens people of color. 
 
I created the zine Islam Book as a blatant assertion of my own queer Muslim identity in order to complicate the perception of what it means to be muslim, Jewish, middle eastern, or queer. I also intend the book to reclaim middle eastern pattern aesthetic from the appropriation I feel present in media coming from white voices and associate the aesthetic with my own queer muslim voice.
 
I do these things by creating digital patterns from photos I took, writing poetry that mix the english and farsi language, and layering symbols to subvert stereotypical associations. Some of the poetry and patterns focus on the body; perceived middle eastern facial character traits, internalized racism, self-hate, and language I feel manifests from these phenomenon. I also focus on the body from a gender queer perspective.
 
I speak about queerness in farsi and call out for a general embrace of ugliness with regards to hetero normative white beauty standards prevalent in myself, my Iranian identity, my family, and the Iranian community surrounding me. I by no means aim to shame Iranian people who decide not to “embrace being ugly”, as I have put it, but rather express my own experience becoming critical with internalized racism and create a dialogue with people who might benefit from this discussion.
 
Many of the images in the digital patterns are of locations in Los Angeles, where I was born and raised. I find it important to remind the viewer that this discussion is happening within a context, I am experiencing these things within the immense colonial ideological presence of the united states.
 
I have a lot to say about this book, about Los Angeles, the united states, the appropriation of certain middle eastern visual arts aesthetic, and internalized racism with regards to the body and being queer.


POCZP always loves to hear how folks find out about us. Here’s Paradise’s story:

I’m really exited about what the POC Zine project does. I went to New Orleans [in early 2013] and bought a copy of Shotgun Seamstress from Maple St. Book store. I later googled the zine and it led me to the POC Zine Project.
I’ve made three different series of zines and Islam Book is my most racial and my favorite. I like the page where I wrote red hot chilli pepper lyrics out in Farsi. I printed around 20 copies so I could send it to you guys. 

——————-
SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT
If everyone in our community gave $1, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2013. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to our 2013 tour, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.
DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh

COMMUNITY SUBMISSION: Islam Book, a zine exploring Islamic identity 

Islam book (2013) by Paradise Xerxes Khanmalek

TITLE: Islam Book

RELEASE: April 20, 2013

ORIGIN: Vancouver, Canada

AUTHOR: Paradise Xerxes Khanmalek

ABOUT ISLAM BOOK, BY PARADISE:

Islam Book is zine about voice, appropriation, and an assertion of a complex racial and sexual identity. With Islam Book, I am attempting to complicate the reader’s perception of what exactly an Islamic identity is in order to assert the inclusion of Queerness, weirdness, varying languages, and general humanity.

I am also trying to reclaim middle eastern pattern and calligraphic aesthetic from the visual appropriation I observe in mainstream visual media. I have included a lot of poetry written with farsi letters that spell out english words that attempt to investigate my own Islamic queer identity and call to action other queer POC to engage in a critical dialogue about the body and internalized racism.

WHERE TO BUY: Email lillymalek@yahoo.com or follow hifrog.tumblr.com and submit your interest as a question. Paradise will take it from there!

POCZP will be offering a few copies of Islam Book at this year’s DC Zinefest.

ISLAM BOOK IS NOW IN THE POCZP ARCHIVE!

Paradise is one of many POC who have donated copies of their zines to the POC Zine Project archive. Donations are critical to our work, as we are a 100% volunteer organization and rely on direct donations to function outside the nonprofit industrial complex. We purchase zines directly from POC whenever we can, but donations are especially appreciated.

Click here for info on how to donate your zine to POCZP.

Here is Paradise’s donation statement for 14 copies of Islam Book:

My name is Paradise Xerxes Khanmalek. I’m submitting my zines to the POC Zine Project because making zines is one of the only mediums I have felt comfortable enough to challenge extremely pressing and personal racial issues. I have felt a dire need to engage with other POC about issues I find important, and the most successful way I have found is creating and distributing my own zines.
Hopefully by submitting Islam book and my other zines to the POC Zine Project, I can create a larger dialogue, engage in more discussion, and reach the eyes of more POC.
 
The POC zine project was really exciting to learn about because I feel a constant lack of support for POC in my community and my body and the POC Zine Project seems to be a real, active, force that challenges white power, and connects and strengthens people of color. 
 
I created the zine Islam Book as a blatant assertion of my own queer Muslim identity in order to complicate the perception of what it means to be muslim, Jewish, middle eastern, or queer. I also intend the book to reclaim middle eastern pattern aesthetic from the appropriation I feel present in media coming from white voices and associate the aesthetic with my own queer muslim voice.
 
I do these things by creating digital patterns from photos I took, writing poetry that mix the english and farsi language, and layering symbols to subvert stereotypical associations. Some of the poetry and patterns focus on the body; perceived middle eastern facial character traits, internalized racism, self-hate, and language I feel manifests from these phenomenon. I also focus on the body from a gender queer perspective.
 
I speak about queerness in farsi and call out for a general embrace of ugliness with regards to hetero normative white beauty standards prevalent in myself, my Iranian identity, my family, and the Iranian community surrounding me. I by no means aim to shame Iranian people who decide not to “embrace being ugly”, as I have put it, but rather express my own experience becoming critical with internalized racism and create a dialogue with people who might benefit from this discussion.
 
Many of the images in the digital patterns are of locations in Los Angeles, where I was born and raised. I find it important to remind the viewer that this discussion is happening within a context, I am experiencing these things within the immense colonial ideological presence of the united states.
 
I have a lot to say about this book, about Los Angeles, the united states, the appropriation of certain middle eastern visual arts aesthetic, and internalized racism with regards to the body and being queer.

POCZP always loves to hear how folks find out about us. Here’s Paradise’s story:

I’m really exited about what the POC Zine project does. I went to New Orleans [in early 2013] and bought a copy of Shotgun Seamstress from Maple St. Book store. I later googled the zine and it led me to the POC Zine Project.

I’ve made three different series of zines and Islam Book is my most racial and my favorite. I like the page where I wrote red hot chilli pepper lyrics out in Farsi. I printed around 20 copies so I could send it to you guys. 

——————-

SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $1, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2013. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to our 2013 tour, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.

DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh

RELEASE: The Mimi Thi Nguyen Collection in Collaboration with the POC Zine Project

In the summer of 2012, POC Zine Project partnered with Mimi Thi Nguyen to facilitate her donation of over 60 poc zines created in the 1990s to NYU’s Fales Library.

Mimi's #poczines donation at Fales!

Here is the donation statement in its entirety, along with a list of the zines that were donated.

FALES LIBRARY DONATION STATEMENT

The Mimi Thi Nguyen Collection in Collaboration with the POC Zine Project

January 13, 2012

By Mimi Thi Nguyen

As a zinester and a scholar, it is an odd thing to be both an object of the archive and an interlocutor with them. Or, as the case might be, it is an odd thing to be both an object whose presence is perceived through absence and an interlocutor called upon to enact its retrieval.

The story of this donation follows from just such an absence and call when my collaborator Daniela Capistrano, founder of the POC Zine Project, noted that archivist Lisa Darms’ upcoming manuscript on the Riot Grrrl Collection at the Fales Library –about which Darms’ tweeted, with an invitation to propose materials to include— could not address some of the most important zines by women of color, because at the time almost none of these zines are found in the archive. (It bears noting that the collection depends upon donations, and Darms’ does not purchase zines for the collection.)

In a Twitter exchange, Capistrano encouraged Darms to continue including zines by women of color lest an important but much under-observed contribution to the story continue to be subsumed to a “big picture” of riot grrrl as feminist movement. At the same time, Capistrano contacted me to compile some of those zines for a collaborative donation to the Fales Library. As the mission statement for POC Zine Project states, the archive and access to it are central: “POC Zine Project’s mission is to makes ALL zines by POC (People of Color) easy to find, share and distribute. We are an experiment in activism and community through materiality.”

Lisa Darms exchange, August 2, 2012

There are two issues that concern us —myself, and Capistrano at the POC Zine Project— in general: For the first, we argue that the archive is not just a place for study, but must be itself an object of it. What is in the archive, and how did it get there? What are the criteria for assembling, organizing and presenting materials? Who selects and collects, shapes and donates their stories to an archive? What is not there? How do these materials and absences produce knowledges, including norms and teleologies?*

It is stating the obvious to observe that no archive is an authoritative source for grasping a record of the past; we know from postcolonial studies in which the archive is demonstrably an artifact of colonial frames that the story the archive –any archive— tells is provisional, partial. For this reason, some who are concerned with history making aim to create a more full archive, excavating from the cracks and fissures those stories and persons identified as absent (of course, this requires the recognition that absence matters).

But the second question I wish to address here is bigger than just what is in the archive, and how a donation like this one might “correct” an absence— it is for me a concern about how the archive, the absence, and the excavation tell another, useful story.

Such bigger stories are about feminist historiography –how do we tell the story of feminist movement and teleology, and the place of women of color? I want to suggest that a donation from my collection and the POC Zine Project does not necessarily address the underlying troubles for feminist historiographies of riot grrrl movement. As the narrow scope of liberal multiculturalism has by now taught us, it is that inclusion and incorporation might be made to cover over more troubling queries about how women of color are included, incorporated, or otherwise made visible. I am thinking of feminist archives or retrospectives that too often “hold a place” for women of color to say their piece, but in such a way that contains their critique and segregates it from the story of the movement’s contribution.

We can see this logic operating in retrospectives of riot grrrl in which the story of race is contained as a chapter, or a part of a chapter, in its history, when it appears at all. Here then I cite Anjali Arondekar, whose For the Record considers these questions with regards to sexuality in the colonial archive: “The critical challenge is to imagine a practice of archival reading that incites relationships between the seductions of recovery and the occlusions such retrieval mandates. By this I mean to say: What if the recuperative gesture returns us to the space of absence? How then does one restore absence to itself? Put simply, can an empty archive also be full?” That is, it may be that the problem is not just a matter of historical invisibility (in this case, of people of color in punk subcultures) that would otherwise be corrected with further excavation and more visibility.

The problem is this: Through what stories do absences become visible, and manageable? And does filling up that absence somehow hide the important stories that absence might tell us – about history-making, knowledge-making, movement-making? I wondered then, as I was pulling together zines by women of color (pre-1996) for this donation, how an almost-empty archive might lend greater substance to the story of epistemic violence that erases or otherwise contains our presence.

As I have said elsewhere, the archive is a political and cultural meaning making machine for the passage of objects into what Michel Foucault calls knowledge’s field of control and power’s sphere of intervention, and for “minor” objects in particular, we know well how troublesome such a passage might be. At the same time, myself and Daniela here wish to posit another historiographical gesture. That is, what if we refuse the emplottment of absence and subsequent redemption-through-presence that would render women of color as mere addition or supplement to the archives? What if the intervention –like this donation— becomes the story to tell about them?

The donations made from my collection in collaboration with the POC Zine Project and in conversation with Lisa Darms at the Riot Grrrl Collection is both a critique (broadly construed) and an alternate chronicle taking up questions about race and coloniality that cut across assumed feminist histories, investments and teleologies.* These pre-1996 selections from my collection point to not a side story in riot grrrl movement, but the story of encounter and contest, exchange and challenge – denoting not the singularity of riot grrrl movement, but its slide by other feminisms, fracturing and multiplying into other worlds.

Again, as I have said elsewhere (and repeatedly on the first POC Zine Project/Race Riot! Tour in 2012), those other histories of people of color —here represented in the materials we donate together— are not an interruption into a singular scene or movement but the practice of another, co-present scene or movement that conversed and collided with the already-known story, but with alternate investments and forms of critique. These other stories of riot grrrl in particular and also punk at large unfolding enact historical and theoretical provocations with which we have yet to reckon.**

_______________

* I am grateful to my graduate research assistant Ariana Ruiz for the hours she put in copying and creating an inventory for the zines.

** Some of the material adapted here for this statement comes from Mimi Thi Nguyen, “Afterward,” in Punkademics: The Basement Show in the Ivory Tower, edited by Zack Furness, New York: Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2012, 217-223; and Mimi Thi Nguyen, “Riot Grrrl, Race, and Revival,” in Women & Performance special issue “Punk Anteriors,” edited by Elizabeth Stinson and Fiona I.B. Ngô, 22:2-3 (July-November 2012); 173-196.

_______________

Here is the full list of zines created by POC in the 1990s that were donated:

Behind These Fragile Walls #1

Boredom Sucks #8.5

Borelando

Broken Thought #1 and #2

Cage #1, #2 and #3

Chica Loca 2

Chinese, Japanese, Indian Chief

Consider Yourself Kissed #2

Cyanide #1

Eracism #1 and #2

Evolution of a Race Riot

Exedra #4

Funeral #1 and #2

Hey Mexican!

Hey White Girl

Hijinx Zine #1

Hollyhock 3/War 1

Hollyhock #4.5

Housewife Turned Assassin! #2 and #4

Juryrig

Kreme Koolers #2 and #4

Mamasita #4

Marks in Time: The Very Early Go-Gos’s

Messy Flowers 3/Lolita

Mestiza

Mija

My Broken Halo #2

Oppression Song #1

Photobooth Toolbox 2

Please Don’t Hit Below The Belt!

Pure Tuna Fish #1, #6, #8, #9 and #10

Race Riot 2

Race Riot Project Directory

Scarbaby

Screaming Goddess #1 and #4 (zine and artwork)

Secret Agent Girl no. 666

Suburbia 8/ Tennis and Violins #2

Tennis and Violins 

The Bakery

Totally Fucked Up #1

Wild Honey Pie #9 and #10

You Might as Well Live #4, #5, #8 and #9

Superette #12

ywap! #13

YOU ARE RACIST WHITE PUNK BOY

—-

Mimi also gave an identical donation to the POC Zine Project and all titles will be a part of the Legacy Series mapping project. If you are interested in accessing digital copies of any of these zines, send us a message.

A duplicate donation was also made to the Barnard Zine Library (details coming soon).

DONATION SPOTLIGHT: Helen Luu’s original flat for How to Stage a Coup: An Insurrection of the Underground Liberation Army (2000)

Big thanks to Helen Luu for donating her original flat to POC Zine Project.

POCZP is in the process of scanning and will make this zine available as a free digital download and embed. We will have copies for sale and trade at all our events in 2013.

If you are interested in helping to distro this zine and want early access to the digital version, send us a message.

If you’re not familiar with Helen Luu , check out Mimi’s interview with her shortly after the zine’s release. Here’s an excerpt:

HeartAttaCk columnist and activist Helen Luu recently edited a compilation zine called How To Stage A Coup, aimed at creating a dialogue among people of color involved in subcultural pursuits (including punk rock) around race, racism and politics.

Contributors like Lauren Martin (You Might As Well Live, Quantify), Lynn Hou (Cyanide), Celia Prez (I Dreamed I Was Assertive), Elizabeth Martinez (Colorlines) and Vincent Chung address a wide variety of issues from organizing and identity politics, to activist dynamics and punk rock betrayals.

What does it mean to look at the photographs of Third World suffering on the covers of grindcore records? What does it mean to talk about “pride”? Where was the “color” in Seattle/WTO? What comes first – “being brown or being famous”?

The contributors to this compilation ask important questions that need asking, again and again, and Helen Luu brings it all together.

Interview by Mimi Nguyen.

How did HTSAC come together, conceptually and practically?

I’ve been doing zines for a few years now and because of this, have also read a lot of zines and corresponded with lots of people. I started noticing that some zine kids have some really fucked-up notions about issues like racism and that zine culture, like punk rock, is mostly this sea of white – not only in terms of people but also in terms of ideas and ideology and perspectives and that sort of thing.

At the same time though, I would sometimes come across amazing zines by kick-ass people of color with really great critical commentary on race. One day, into my lap fell Evolution of a Race Riot, which was this compilation zine put together over a number of years by you, and which was filled with writings and art by some amazing people of color. It was hands down the most inspiring and empowering zine I had ever read, because this was the first thing I had ever encountered that was about us, by us, and for us, on our own terms.

And it was this collection of voices from all over North America who might not even have otherwise known about each other were it not for the zine.

I am proud to say that HTSAC is in the spirit of Evolution of a Race Riot because our fire ain’t gonna die down! To all our misguided friends and enemies: be very very afraid. As people of color, we need to build on and continue positive projects like Evolution of a Race Riot.

I felt that it was important that HTSAC be by, for, and about people of color because a lot of us want to engage in a different kind of discourse. A lot of us are really sick and tired of constantly having to play the role of “educator” to white people who just don’t get it, and who instead accuse us of “reverse discrimination,” of being “too angry,” of being “ungrateful immigrants” because they feel that their positions of white privilege and power might be threatened.

So anyway, I just started putting out the word about the zine, making the call for contributions, and when I finally decided to get my shit together and stop putting it off, I started nagging people more for submissions and they just started to pour in.

Click here for the rest of Mimi’s interview with Helen, and check out her DJ projects as MissRuckus. If you’re in or near Toronto on the 25th, drop by Helen’s birthday bash at KITCH!

How to stage a coup

- Portland, OR, 2010: Shotgun Seamstress creator Osa Atoe holds up a copy of How to Stage a Coup, while meeting with Daniela for the first time during the Portland Zine Symposium. POCZP tabled at the fest and sponsored Osa’s zine release party.

Photo by POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano.