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!
- POC Zine Project