TITLE: QUARREL The Zine
AUTHOR: Bay Area survivor led group QUARREL
REGION: Bay Area, California, USA
DESCRIPTION: Stories of survivor self determination, direct action, strategies for safer spaces and ripping patriarchy to shreds.
QUARREL was a Bay Area affinity group that formed to take names and kick ass with an anti-colonial, queer, feminist, boot. We support the Self-Determination of survivors and use harm reduction inspired techniques in survivor led actions to transform our communities into safer spaces.
We worked towards developing alternatives for addressing harm outside of the misogyny, racism, and classism of the police state. We support and value accountability processes, see them as critical to the practice of transformative justice, and believe they can take many forms. In this work we have found the tools of harm reduction useful for addressing people with patterns of abuse who are unwilling to be accountable. we have confronted perpetrators of assault, set boundaries, presented community demands and shared information as an act of self defense.
QUARREL has made it possible to read the entire zine online and download it from their blog. A highlight for us was “insurrecto-eggers-esque” by Ralowe trinitrotoluene ampu (page 77).
Booklet print layout:
POCZP will be making a read-only/web friendly layout available soon as an embed and download. Bookmark this page, as we’ll add the link here.
Editor’s Note: A Community Submission post results from POC folk submitting their own zine or zine call to be featured on the POC Zine Project Tumblr and other digital platforms. If you would like to share your zine with the POC Zine Project community, here’s how to do it.
When you submit, feel free to add some background, a description of your work and art and your mission statement. If you just send us the name of your zine, we’ll simply link back to a source for purchasing it and use the language you already have on your site.
As long as the zine was created/co-created by a person of color, we will always share Community Submissions. Enjoy!
POCZP accepts anonymous submissions and zine donations from POC. Click here for submission guidelines.
The Rock Paper Scissors Collective (RPS) is located in the heart of downtown Oakland’s cultural district. RPS holds one of the largest zine libraries on the West Coast and, as its mission statement says, it “fosters creativity and collaboration in order to strengthen local communities and encourage sustainable practices and alternative models.” RPS uses its space to hold many different aspects of creativity - from zines; to visual art; to performances; to art making workshops and (most importantly) forming collaborative relationships with the community.
During my visit I immediately noticed the friendly and open atmosphere. I was able to connect with Kristi, a collective member at RPS.
Kristi does a lot of community work and coordinates the youth intern program. I observed several young women of color at RPC making zines as part of their internship.
Kristi informed me that RPS is in the middle of cataloging all their zines. This made finding zines by POC during my visit challenging - but not impossible, and we understand their constraints as a grassroots, volunteer entity. Kristi was able to help me locate some zines by POC, which are listed at the bottom of this post.
RPS is an example of what a thriving, deeply grassroots alternative space can look like. This alone made the visit worth it, and I will be back again.
Here are five more things that you should know about Rock Paper Scissors Collective’s community space:
It’s a YOUTH SPACE
Part of what makes RPS so vital to the community is that it creates a safe and inclusive space for youth - specifically, I saw youth of color making zines and coming in for the youth intern programing. RPS is known for its youth programming, and thankfully it’s free or low cost. To see youth coming in on a Thursday afternoon and having a free space to hang out was a sight to behold.
POCZP: How does RPS serve the community?
Kristi: Everyone’s welcome here. It doesn’t matter who you are. We’re not a museum/hands off gallery…We only showcase emerging artists, we do open calls, group shows…everything is free and affordable…Anyone can teach classes. Community collaborations are a major component here. We also run programs at high schools and have a zine fest (East Bay Alternative Express and Zine Expo).
RPS focuses on the need for art within the community. Zines are a facet of that as, it is super alternative and accessible.
BAY AREA COMMUNITY: RPS is looking for volunteers to help catalog the zine library on Sunday. Contact them if you’re interested in helping out! <3
It’s an ACCESSIBLE SPACE
The classes offered at RPS’s are free or low cost. Anyone can teach a class, volunteer, and access the zine library. Its store sells clothing, artwork and zines from local artists. It also gives an open call to artists for exhibits. When inquiring further about zines, the staff member on site spoke of zines being “alternative” and “a way for anyone to get their voice out.” I was struck most by its accessibility in making art that responds to the community’s need and fostering dialogue. That was my biggest take away while being there.
It’s a COLLABORATIVE SPACE
RPS thrives most when it can collaborate and form relationships within the community. They do work with schools, offer free workshops to the public, and work with local artists (just to name a few of their collaborations). Also, they can be seen at the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest where they are showcased every year!
It’s a COMMUNITY SPACE
A community space in the sense that it seeks to be a non-hierarchal, inclusive organization, that turns no one who wants to volunteer or become a member away. From speaking with some of the staff, the energy of wanting to build and form a sustaining community was present. A volunteer came in to paint the steps and there was an overall sense of camaraderie and joy for the work.
It’s a STRUGGLING AND OPEN SPACE
I am always aware of the need for a space where there can be love and struggle. And I would be remiss if I acted like everything is always “a walk in the park” within the movement. Or more importantly, that our spaces of struggle and those deep places where we need to decolonize cannot be openly talked about.
So here it is: RPS is a grassroots collective trying to do a lot with a little. Its zine library needs a lot of love and cataloguing. It also needs to have a space where zines by POC can be easily accessed, located and shared. Within our movement, this is a struggle, and I was happy at the level of openness and receptiveness to having support in that.
If you’re on the West Coast and in the Bay area, walking around in Oakland, check out the Rock Paper Scissors Collective. They are open on Wednesday-Sunday, from 12-7 and located at 2278 Telegraph Avenue. See for yourself and make your own assessment. Also, they are looking for Sunday volunteers to help catalogue with the zine library. If you’re looking for a place to support that is doing much needed community work, consider going to RPS.
In the meantime, here are five zines by or about POC that I would recommend. If you are ever at RPS please check them out.
1. The Combination by Ashley Nelson in collaboration with the Neighborhood Story Project
A moving personal-political soul trip of one of the oldest housing complexes in New Orleans.
2. Polarity by Ras Terms
A metaphysical mind trip that explores the duality of spirituality and its metaphysical roots.
Ras Terms was born and raised in Miami. As part of the BSK and FS crews, he was a pivotal figure in the Miami graffiti scene. Terms is a gifted illustrator and painter who has provided many images for the Rastafarian community. Since his arrival in the Bay Area he has established himself as a character graffiti artist and has lent his talents to serve the community.
A zine about the Zapatista movement in Chiapas Mexico. Zapatista thought and knowledge on the struggle against neoliberalism and predatory financial institutions. Published by Agit Press (formerly known as Porcupine Press)
A zine featuring the distinctive artwork and design from West Coast based visual artist Marcus La Farga.
5. Murder Dollhouse by Teppei Ando
Based in the 1920s, a beautifully illustrated comic book thriller about a man who lives in an attic. Published by Volcano Productions.
“rock paper scissors collective is a volunteer-run organization that fosters creativity and collaboration in order to strengthen local communities and encourage sustainable practices and alternative models. We promote the sharing of ideas, skills, and resources through the celebration of art, craft, education, and performance.”
questions -[at]- rpscollective -[dot]- org
2278 Telegraph ave., Oakland, CA 94612
Hours: 12 - 7pm, Wednesday - Sunday.
Closed Monday and Tuesday.
ABOUT ITORO UDOFIA
Itoro is the first dedicated intern for the POC Zine Project’s Legacy Series. Itoro’s excited to support POCZP because ”it is a collective that uplifts and cares about what people of color have to say and acknowledges what they have always said.” Learn more about her here.
ABOUT ‘SCENE REPORTS’
Would you like to help us create Scene Reports for every state? Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to invite POC Zine Project to your upcoming event, or collaborate on a joint event, let us know!
Editor’s Note: Itoro will be creating weekly Scene Report round ups. Make sure to send us your zine event details so we can share! If it’s not zine-related but possibly of interest to zinesters of color, we will share that as well.
I think the idea of collecting and gathering history because we want to preserve it and share is crucial, especially when we want to hold organizers and writers accountable for the choices they make in how they write about a community like zinesters or organizers when they plan events.
We have been around since the beginning and we are very diverse group writing about all kinds of things and not just race. And there is no excuse not to be aware of this! Also we’ve done some pretty amazing things! - Tomas Moniz, Rad Dad zine
POC Zine Project Q & A with Tomas Moniz
When we found out that Tomas was one of the organizers for this year’s East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest (going down TOMORROW, Dec 8!), we decided to ask him a few questions about his history with the fest, thoughts on the relevance of Riot Grrrl, the future of Rad Dad, and more. Enjoy!
POCZP: How did you get involved with the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest and why did you decide to take the lead on organizing this year’s fest? What does your role entail?
Tomas: MK Chavez, a bad ass chicana poet, and I were at the SF Zine fest and we realized so many of the tablers were from Oakland and Berkeley and other parts of the East Bay, so we said we should do something 6 months from the SF zine fest. And we did.
We wanted a space to highlight the local writing community particularly because we like to get and read zines but mostly so we could create a community here, get people to mingle, talk, and as a result I think there has been a strong growth in writing groups, monthly literary readings and events!
We each took leadership responsibilities and each year new people step up to help get the work done!
POCZP: You started Rad Dad after becoming a parent at 20, right? In terms of radical/DIY resources for dads since that time, what have you seen emerge that you’re excited about and what is in store for the future of Rad Dad zine?
How long to do you plan on continuing it and would you hand it off to someone else, or will it just stop when you stop?
Tomas: Funny you should ask about handing it off; I have been contemplating the transition because all along I’ve wanted Rad Dad to be about community rather than an individual or me.
I also though think it’s important as a father whose gone through it to pick up some of the work that new parents often times simply can’t do because of the differing demands on their time; I like to think of Rad Dad as a bridge, as the light at the end of the tunnel, reminding especially new parents that you will get through the struggle and you can come out a better person!
POCZP: You have two teenage daughters. Is Riot Grrrl something they relate to/have explored? Also, what is their relationship to zines and how do you encourage them in that regard?
Tomas: The definitely have their own musical tastes and interests. They know riot grrrl and know the music but it certainly is not theirs; they have their own likes and sometimes those likes are pretty problematic, but what I think is so important is that we can talk about those issues, talk about that contradictory place we all find ourselves in from time to time in which you like something but recognize its contradictions, its flaws and from that make informed choices.
They don’t make their own zines but they read them and they come with me to the events…
POCZP: What are your top 5 tips for someone who wants to start a zine fest in their town?
Tomas: Call a meeting and get started…I think you really only need like two or three people. Start off with just getting a day and twenty tables and a space. Don’t try to do too much at first.
Later you can add speakers and workshops. But I also encourage you to try something different — make it a skill share, do it at a park, drop-in style, remember the point is community not commerce.
Keep it affordable for people; reach out to people and ask for help or what you need; you’d be surprised how often you get it.
POCZP: What are your top 10 favorite zines right now (can be old, new, doesn’t matter)?
Tomas: [provided a list]
• Wonder & Wander by Annie Yu — so awesome it’s this mix of her finding a used typewriter, how to gude for using a typwriter, maps of walking the streets of San Francisco
• Boob Juice by Mindi Jackson – a young mama wrestling with big questions and a little baby
• Dreams of Donuts by Heather Wreckage – a really strong comic zine dealing with occupy Oakland and other issues
• Kerbloom by Artnoose — just plain wonderful and consistent
• Book of Ladders by Jacks Ashley McNamara — a beautiful mix of essays and poems dealing with class and identity
• RACE (revolutionary anti-authoritarians of color) — a one-time zine from early 00s dealing with race and anarchism!
• Illegal Voices — came out of the APOC community with so many powerful essays
• Tenacious: Writing by Incarcerated Women edited by — Vikki Law’s zine for and by women prisoners
• The Nerve of These People by Anna Quinonez — drawings of revolutionary women
• Without Words & Without Kneeling by Tomas Moniz – a serialized zine novella about an anarchist study group
POCZP: You said you’ve been following POC Zine Project for a while. What did you think when you first heard about it, and why do you think it’s important (if you do at all)?
Tomas: I was and am excited. I think the idea of collecting and gathering history because we want to preserve it and share is crucial especially when we want to hold organizers and writers accountable for the choices they make in how they write about a community like zinesters or organizers when they plan events.
We have been around since the beginning and we are very diverse group writing about all kinds of things and not just race. And there is no excuse not to be aware of this! Also we’ve done some pretty amazing things!
POCZP: Some zinesters of color have had experiences with feeling unwelcome in zine spaces/DIY communities. Has that been your experience at all?
Tomas: My experience of feeling kind of isolated rather than unwelcome was more in the activist/anarchist scene here in the Bay. It’s was very white but that has been changing.
But I realize my privilege in living in a very diverse region so there has always been other zinesters and also there has always been support. When we felt there was an issue, we seemed to quickly get together and address it.
But I still get letters from parents who live in very homogenous communities and that is why I still do zines, I still write letters, I still work to gather voices in Rad Dad form those who don’t always get a chance to tell their story: parents of color, young parents, queer or trans parents because it’s important to let others know they are not alone.
- Q & A by POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano