POC ZINE PROJECT

Posts tagged institutional racism

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: BROS FALL BACK (2013)
RELEASE: May 2013
ORIGIN: Philly, PA
AUTHOR: “The Secret Society of Femmes”
HOW TO BUY/ACCESS: Contact antieverythingshows@gmail.com directly for instructions on how to get a copy of the print version.
READ BROS FALL BACK NOW!
This is the print view version (only one available online) so it’s best viewed in full-screen mode.

POC ZINE PROJECT REVIEWS BROS FALL BACK
By Suzy X, POCZP touring member
Hi zinesters! Last month I had the pleasure of reading at Ladyfest Philly, where I read/performed from my middle school diaries. I was in great company, and many laughs (and tears) were shared.
But being the only author of color at the reading left me a little confused; there are actually plenty of POC doing radical, D.I.Y work in Philadelphia alone, and not enough of them were at this event! Hopefully next year’s zine reading can be a better reflection of that.So on that note, a new zine that I’m absolutely enamored with is BROS FALL BACK, a zine recently written by some QPOC based in Philly known as “The Secret Society of Femmes.”
Rather than resorting to the classic declaration of “girls to the front!” BROS FALL BACK takes a more intersectional approach to combating hetero-patriarchy in D.I.Y. and punk spaces. This shift in focus allows more room for those who are not “girls” nor “bros,” but are still fair game under white male supremacy.
The zine also delves into the racist and capitalist dynamics within punk culture, illustrating the slippery slope that starts with a new DIY space and ends with gentrification.
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[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Suzy X holds her copy of BROS FALL BACK. Photo credit: Suzy X]
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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

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: BROS FALL BACK (2013)

RELEASE: May 2013

ORIGIN: Philly, PA

AUTHOR: “The Secret Society of Femmes”

HOW TO BUY/ACCESS: Contact antieverythingshows@gmail.com directly for instructions on how to get a copy of the print version.

READ BROS FALL BACK NOW!

This is the print view version (only one available online) so it’s best viewed in full-screen mode.

POC ZINE PROJECT REVIEWS BROS FALL BACK

By Suzy X, POCZP touring member

Hi zinesters! Last month I had the pleasure of reading at Ladyfest Philly, where I read/performed from my middle school diaries. I was in great company, and many laughs (and tears) were shared.

But being the only author of color at the reading left me a little confused; there are actually plenty of POC doing radical, D.I.Y work in Philadelphia alone, and not enough of them were at this event! Hopefully next year’s zine reading can be a better reflection of that.

So on that note, a new zine that I’m absolutely enamored with is BROS FALL BACK, a zine recently written by some QPOC based in Philly known as “The Secret Society of Femmes.”

Rather than resorting to the classic declaration of “girls to the front!” BROS FALL BACK takes a more intersectional approach to combating hetero-patriarchy in D.I.Y. and punk spaces. This shift in focus allows more room for those who are not “girls” nor “bros,” but are still fair game under white male supremacy.

The zine also delves into the racist and capitalist dynamics within punk culture, illustrating the slippery slope that starts with a new DIY space and ends with gentrification.

——————-

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Suzy X holds her copy of BROS FALL BACK. Photo credit: Suzy X]

——————-

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

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: ‘The First 7-inch Was Better: How I Became an Ex-Punk’ by Nia King (2008)

TITLE: The First 7-inch Was Better: How I Became an Ex-Punk (2008)

AUTHOR: Nia King

RELEASE: 2008

PAGES: 20

ORIGIN: Denver, CO

DESCRIPTION BY STRANGERDANGERZINES.COM:

Nia (Angry Black-White Girl and Borderlands) comes forward to declare her status as an ex-punk. She criticizes anarcho-punk and many activist scenes for its ignorance and the lack of inclusion of folks of color, women and queers. Nia refuses to leave a part of herself at the door in order to adjust to the whiteness and maleness of a musical scene that she once truly enjoyed. The zine also includes a pull-out portion in which you can take along to your next show in order to challenge yourself, your friends and other bystanders.

SOURCE: QZAP.ORG

Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP) is responsible for scanning and making Nia’s zine file available online. POCZP helped to “liberate” this publication as an embeddable file for International Zine Month #IZM2013.

READ NOW (OR DOWNLOAD FOR FREE):

THE MAKING OF ‘THE FIRST 7-INCH WAS BETTER’

Excerpt from POZCP touring member Osa Atoe’s interview with Nia in 2009 for Maximumrocknroll:

Osa: Come on! You’re at a punk house right now hanging out with a girl that we both just randomly happen to know through punk… Just admit it you’re still kinda punk!
Nia: [laughs] BUSTED! Well, I don’t feel punk. I feel really alienated in punk spaces. Lo Mas Alla, where Luisa and some of my other friends live, feels kind of different. Most of the people who live there may still have love for punk culture, but they also view punk with a critical lens. At some point, most of them have told me they are growing out of punk. I could try and defend it further but it feels silly. I am staying with punks at a punk house. Fact. Am I a punk? No.
Osa: Yeah, well the point I’m trying to make is half-silly and half-serious. I do feel strongly about the fact that people of color end up relinquishing so much to white people just because white people take up all that space. I mean, how many times have you talked to another black girl who’s like, “I’m not a feminist because I feel like feminism is for white women”? And I’m thinking that feminism is an important tool, just like punk is for me, and I’m definitely not going to let white people define what it means to be punk or feminist. I’m going to use those words, those tools, in ways that benefit me.
Nia: I feel that, but defending punk and feminism can be a lot of work, and a lot of the criticism I’ve heard of both is valid. I guess trying to hold space for POCs in punk is exhausting, not because they’re not already there taking up (some) space, but because being the only POC in a room is fucking exhausting in my experience. I wanted to retreat to spaces where I didn’t feel like I had to fight for visibility or have to call people on their shit all the time, and for me punk was not that. Not that I was the lone voice of reason or the lone POC, but often enough, it felt like it. I have nothing but respect for women of color who hold it down in punk rock and call shit out, and make records and write zines, but it’s not for me anymore. Orat least I’m a lot pickier about the ways I engage with it and the situations I put myself in. You feel me?
Osa: Yeah I do. I think that’s why it’s so important to have this conversation because I can see how we’re coming at it from such different perspectives even though both are valid. I totally relate to feeling drained to the bone by being in predominantly white “progressive” spaces. And it wasn’t just punk. Going to college for women’s studies with all those well-meeting white liberal feminists almost gave me an aneurysm. At the same time, for me, it’s not about defending punk or feminism. I just am those things in my daily life. I feel like I did give up fighting for visibility and correcting ignorance and oppressive dynamics in punk scenes. But that just meant that I spent more time hanging out with the brown kids and cultivating those relationships.

Read Osa’s full interview with Nia here.

ABOUT NIA KING

Nia King is a queer art activist of color from Boston, Massachusetts. She currently resides in Oakland, California where she runs the podcast We Want the Airwaves: QPOC Artists on the Rise.

Nia King

artactivistnia.com

@artactivistnia

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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

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: Tenacious: Art and Writing from Women in Prison (Issue #27)
RELEASE: December 2012
PAGES: 35
ORIGIN: New York City, USA
EDITOR: Vikki Law
DESCRIPTION FROM VIKKI:

Issue #27 includes:
a colorful Spruce Tree Dryad by a woman incarcerated in Alaska
a letter about ongoing conditions in Denver Women’s Correctional Facility
how prison staff react to holiday spirit
"It Doesn’t Matter If It’s Election Time": a response to Marianne Brown’s piece by a woman incarcerated in Colorado
letters from CeCe McDonald
mental health care in women’s prisons
living with HIV in a women’s prison

HOW TO ORDER TENACIOUS
SNAIL MAIL ONLY (for now)! To get a copy, send $3 in well-concealed cash or a check made out to V. Law to: PO Box 20388 New York, NY 10009
Here is all of Vikki’s contact info.
Be sure to indicate which issue you want (if not #27 or #28) and (if possible) provide an email address so that Vikki can contact you with any questions/requests.
READ AN EXCERPT FROM TENACIOUS #27 ONLINE
With Vikki’s permission, POCZP has made it possible for you to read an excerpt from issue #27 online, entitled “Mental Health Care in Prison” by Jane Dorotik, along with info about WORTH.

Jane is presently incarcerated in Corona, CA. You can write her at the following address (please tell her you found her info through Tenacious & POC Zine Project):
Jane Dorotik
W90870
California Institution for Women, MB 114L
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880
COMMUNITY: Please consider purchasing multiple copies of Tenacious to support the series, Vikki’s important work helping to empower women who are incarcerated and activism through materiality.
————————————————-
Q&A WITH VIKKI LAW, EDITOR OF TENACIOUS
By POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano (@dcap)
Recorded on June 16, 2013 at ABC Nio Rio in NYC (part 1 of 4)
FIRST INSTALLMENT: THE MAKING OF TENACIOUS
DANIELA: Tell me about Tenacious issue #27. What is it about, why did you make it and did you have any support through the process?
VIKKI: I’ve been doing Tenacious since 2003 (click here for an interview with Vikki from 2009). It actually wasn’t my idea to start Tenacious, which is a zine of art and writings by and from women in prison about their experiences both in prison and if they continue writing after they get out of prison. It was actually the idea of several women incarcerated in Oregon who were reading zines and magazines written by men in prison , and were seeing that their experiences were not being reflected in men prisoner writings.
They said they weren’t seeing things about dealing with their kids, or child custody issues, or maintaining contact with family, or pervasive sexual harassment they get from staff members inside prisons, so they wanted a publication that spoke about their issues and also spoke to other women so they knew they weren’t suffering these things by themselves.
Being in prison, they didn’t have access to things like stamps, postage - you know - photocopying, access to even the ability to write to other people freely. So they were looking for somebody on the other side and they asked me if I would be the outside person.
DANIELA: How did Tenacious go from an idea to an independent publication/zine?
I just started putting together Tenacious and putting it out. Originally it was me and several other young women who were also interested in supporting women in prison, getting their ideas and voices out. But because zine-making can sometimes be a very solitary experience, and working with people in prison can sometimes be this long extended process in which you don’t feel like you are making much of a difference because you can’t see anything tangible happening, or coming out of it, the other people slowly dropped out … it is work to sit there and try to figure out how to re-type stuff, or write back and forth with somebody in prison about their piece and how they might possibly make it stronger, because it’s not as well articulated as it could be…
So right now I am the only person editing Tenacious. And so for the Winter 2012 issue, which is issue #27, I just put out a call for submissions from women in prison - whether it be cisgendered women or transwomen.
DANIELA: How does putting out a call for Tenacious work? How do women in prison find out about this opportunity and how do you collect their stories from the outside?
VIKKI: I put out a call through the network of women in prison I already knew from having done support work in the past. I originally (in the early days of Tenacious) also put out a call through publications that sent free copies to women in prison.
off our backs used to send free copies to women in prison (ceased publishing in 2008). There was also a journal called Sojourner: The Women’s Forum that closed sometime in the early 2000s that not only sent free copies to women in prison, but also had an actual page or two where women in prison could write in and talk about their experiences. It was the women in prison column. So when they folded, they sent out letters to all of their women in prison readers and said “we’re really sorry, we’re closing, here are some other alternatives for free publications so you can have something to read and keep up” and they were willing to list Tenacious as one of the publications you could get free copies of and write for.
Calls for submissions have also been through word of mouth over the years. I’ve seen the people who’ve written for Tenacious shift, and you can kind of trace it to where people are sharing Tenacious in their prisons. So when I first started, I got a lot of writing and art from people incarcerated in Oregon Women’s Prison, because that is where the women were sharing copies of Tenacious.
As they were released, other women who were in other prisons started sharing it. So, for one issue, I might get 50% of my submissions from a women’s prison in Colorado, and that’s because women get copies and share them around with their friends and are like “hey!”
DANIELA: Tell me a little more about Tenacious #27, which we’re featuring as a preview in the first installment for our readers. 
Issue #27 is a variety of different writings from women in prison. There’s writings from people in Colorado, Indiana - in there’s a piece by CeCe McDonald, who is an African American transwoman incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota, for defending herself against an attack on the street. There’s a couple of pieces of artwork by a transwoman named Nicky Riley, who has been incarcerated in Texas for several years. There’s a piece on lack of mental health care in California women’s prisons. 
DANIELA: Can you share some info about the history of health care and mental health care in CA? 
Several years ago, people incarcerated in CA actually sued the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The Supreme Court actually ruled that the lack of health care in California violated the 8th amendment against cruel and unusual punishment and put the entire prison system under what’s called a federal receivership, in which there’s someone who actually overseas how health care is run. So, basically, CDR can no longer neglect people to the extent that they have…but that doesn’t mean it’s gotten extraordinarily better, it just means that now there’s some federal oversight. 
So one woman actually writes in issue #27 about how mental health care in prison is still really inadequate, especially since there’s so many people who enter prison with mental health issues.
DANIELA: Do you do “themed” issues of Tenacious and how do you convey that information? What’s your process like?
In my call for submissions, there’s a list of experiences and ideas of what I’m looking for, so it’s not just “anything you’ve written off the top of your head!” So, specifically, “how does this relate to your experience in prison?”
One of the other goals of Tenacious is not just that women inside are able to read about other peoples’ experiences, but that people on the outside who may never have been incarcerated are able to read about experiences inside women’s prisons.
When they read, I hope they go “Wait! I never really thought about the fact that when we vote for or support things like mandatory sentencing laws, or Stop and Frisk, or are against the decriminalization of marijuana, etc. that we’re basically sentencing people to not only lose their liberty but to experience all these other atrocious aspects of prison.”
DANIELA: We’ll cover this more in the next installment, but how is your call for submissions for Tenacious #29 going?
For the upcoming issue I’ve actually gotten 4-6 pieces by women incarcerated in the women’s prison in Rhode Island, which I’ve sent one person there copies of Tenacious. Apparently she’s been sharing them around, so now I’m getting pieces from the women in Rhode Island even though I don’t have a prior relationship with any of them.
So, you can kind of trace where people are sharing copies and passing them along as something like “hey you should read this.” Also ,I don’t know if they’re encouraging their friends to write or if the women are reading Tenacious and thinking “you know, it’s not an intimidating thing to write something and send it in.”
COMMUNITY: Stay tuned for three more installments from this interview with Vikki Law that will share more issues of Tenacious.
ABOUT VIKKI LAW
Victoria Law is a writer, photographer, and mother. After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations.
Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison and has facilitated having incarcerated women’s writings published in larger publications, such as Clamor magazine, the website “Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance” and the upcoming anthology Interrupted Lives. In 1995, she became involved with ABC No Rio, a collectively run arts center on New York’s Lower East Side, serving as Board Treasurer from 1997 to 2002. 
In 1997, she organized a group of activist photographers to transform one of No Rio’s upstairs tenement apartments into a black-and-white photo darkroom for community use. Since then, she has remained actively involved in coordinating (and sometimes co-teaching) free photography classes for neighborhood youth. In addition, she has participated in and curated numerous exhibitions at No Rio’s gallery, many with themes addressing social and political issues such as incarceration, grassroots efforts to rebuild New Orleans, Zapatista organizing, police brutality, and squatting. 
In 2003, she collaborated with China Martens to create “Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind,” a workshop addressing the specific (and often unacknowledged) needs of parents and children in radical movements; and has co-facilitated discussions in Baltimore, New York City, Providence, Montreal, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Boston. With Jessica Mills and China Martens, she is compiling a handbook for allies of radical parents by the same name.
VIKKI’S BOOKS
Vikki is a great example of a woman of color who makes zines and other intersectional materiality. 
Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities (buy here)
Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women 2nd ed. (buy here)
Som praise for Resistance Behind Bars

"An important contribution to the growing movement to end prisons as we know them."—Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
"Law’s important book illuminates these under reported stories of individual and collective organizing by women in prison and encourages all of us to work in solidarity across prison walls to create a world that no longer includes the prison industrial complex.”—Angela Y. Davis, author of Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prison, Torture, and Empire and Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz
"Written in regular English, rather than academese, this is an impressive work of research and reportage."—Mumia Abu-Jamal, political prisoner and author of Live From Death Row

WATCH VIKKI TALK ABOUT GENDER AND THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

 Watch part 2 of this video here.
——————-
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

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: Tenacious: Art and Writing from Women in Prison (Issue #27)

RELEASE: December 2012

PAGES: 35

ORIGIN: New York City, USA

EDITOR: Vikki Law

DESCRIPTION FROM VIKKI:

Issue #27 includes:

  • a colorful Spruce Tree Dryad by a woman incarcerated in Alaska
  • a letter about ongoing conditions in Denver Women’s Correctional Facility
  • how prison staff react to holiday spirit
  • "It Doesn’t Matter If It’s Election Time": a response to Marianne Brown’s piece by a woman incarcerated in Colorado
  • letters from CeCe McDonald
  • mental health care in women’s prisons
  • living with HIV in a women’s prison

HOW TO ORDER TENACIOUS

SNAIL MAIL ONLY (for now)! To get a copy, send $3 in well-concealed cash or a check made out to V. Law to: 
PO Box 20388 
New York, NY 10009

Here is all of Vikki’s contact info.

Be sure to indicate which issue you want (if not #27 or #28) and (if possible) provide an email address so that Vikki can contact you with any questions/requests.

READ AN EXCERPT FROM TENACIOUS #27 ONLINE

With Vikki’s permission, POCZP has made it possible for you to read an excerpt from issue #27 online, entitled “Mental Health Care in Prison” by Jane Dorotik, along with info about WORTH.

Jane is presently incarcerated in Corona, CA. You can write her at the following address (please tell her you found her info through Tenacious & POC Zine Project):

Jane Dorotik

W90870

California Institution for Women, MB 114L

16756 Chino-Corona Road

Corona, CA 92880

COMMUNITY: Please consider purchasing multiple copies of Tenacious to support the series, Vikki’s important work helping to empower women who are incarcerated and activism through materiality.

————————————————-

Q&A WITH VIKKI LAW, EDITOR OF TENACIOUS

By POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano (@dcap)

Recorded on June 16, 2013 at ABC Nio Rio in NYC (part 1 of 4)

FIRST INSTALLMENT: THE MAKING OF TENACIOUS

DANIELA: Tell me about Tenacious issue #27. What is it about, why did you make it and did you have any support through the process?

VIKKI: I’ve been doing Tenacious since 2003 (click here for an interview with Vikki from 2009). It actually wasn’t my idea to start Tenacious, which is a zine of art and writings by and from women in prison about their experiences both in prison and if they continue writing after they get out of prison. It was actually the idea of several women incarcerated in Oregon who were reading zines and magazines written by men in prison , and were seeing that their experiences were not being reflected in men prisoner writings.

They said they weren’t seeing things about dealing with their kids, or child custody issues, or maintaining contact with family, or pervasive sexual harassment they get from staff members inside prisons, so they wanted a publication that spoke about their issues and also spoke to other women so they knew they weren’t suffering these things by themselves.

Being in prison, they didn’t have access to things like stamps, postage - you know - photocopying, access to even the ability to write to other people freely. So they were looking for somebody on the other side and they asked me if I would be the outside person.

DANIELA: How did Tenacious go from an idea to an independent publication/zine?

I just started putting together Tenacious and putting it out. Originally it was me and several other young women who were also interested in supporting women in prison, getting their ideas and voices out. But because zine-making can sometimes be a very solitary experience, and working with people in prison can sometimes be this long extended process in which you don’t feel like you are making much of a difference because you can’t see anything tangible happening, or coming out of it, the other people slowly dropped out … it is work to sit there and try to figure out how to re-type stuff, or write back and forth with somebody in prison about their piece and how they might possibly make it stronger, because it’s not as well articulated as it could be…

So right now I am the only person editing Tenacious. And so for the Winter 2012 issue, which is issue #27, I just put out a call for submissions from women in prison - whether it be cisgendered women or transwomen.

DANIELA: How does putting out a call for Tenacious work? How do women in prison find out about this opportunity and how do you collect their stories from the outside?

VIKKI: I put out a call through the network of women in prison I already knew from having done support work in the past. I originally (in the early days of Tenacious) also put out a call through publications that sent free copies to women in prison.

off our backs used to send free copies to women in prison (ceased publishing in 2008). There was also a journal called Sojourner: The Women’s Forum that closed sometime in the early 2000s that not only sent free copies to women in prison, but also had an actual page or two where women in prison could write in and talk about their experiences. It was the women in prison column. So when they folded, they sent out letters to all of their women in prison readers and said “we’re really sorry, we’re closing, here are some other alternatives for free publications so you can have something to read and keep up” and they were willing to list Tenacious as one of the publications you could get free copies of and write for.

Calls for submissions have also been through word of mouth over the years. I’ve seen the people who’ve written for Tenacious shift, and you can kind of trace it to where people are sharing Tenacious in their prisons. So when I first started, I got a lot of writing and art from people incarcerated in Oregon Women’s Prison, because that is where the women were sharing copies of Tenacious.

As they were released, other women who were in other prisons started sharing it. So, for one issue, I might get 50% of my submissions from a women’s prison in Colorado, and that’s because women get copies and share them around with their friends and are like “hey!”

DANIELA: Tell me a little more about Tenacious #27, which we’re featuring as a preview in the first installment for our readers. 

Issue #27 is a variety of different writings from women in prison. There’s writings from people in Colorado, Indiana - in there’s a piece by CeCe McDonaldwho is an African American transwoman incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota, for defending herself against an attack on the street. There’s a couple of pieces of artwork by a transwoman named Nicky Riley, who has been incarcerated in Texas for several years. There’s a piece on lack of mental health care in California women’s prisons.

DANIELA: Can you share some info about the history of health care and mental health care in CA? 

Several years ago, people incarcerated in CA actually sued the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The Supreme Court actually ruled that the lack of health care in California violated the 8th amendment against cruel and unusual punishment and put the entire prison system under what’s called a federal receivership, in which there’s someone who actually overseas how health care is run. So, basically, CDR can no longer neglect people to the extent that they have…but that doesn’t mean it’s gotten extraordinarily better, it just means that now there’s some federal oversight.

So one woman actually writes in issue #27 about how mental health care in prison is still really inadequate, especially since there’s so many people who enter prison with mental health issues.

DANIELA: Do you do “themed” issues of Tenacious and how do you convey that information? What’s your process like?

In my call for submissions, there’s a list of experiences and ideas of what I’m looking for, so it’s not just “anything you’ve written off the top of your head!” So, specifically, “how does this relate to your experience in prison?”

One of the other goals of Tenacious is not just that women inside are able to read about other peoples’ experiences, but that people on the outside who may never have been incarcerated are able to read about experiences inside women’s prisons.

When they read, I hope they go “Wait! I never really thought about the fact that when we vote for or support things like mandatory sentencing laws, or Stop and Frisk, or are against the decriminalization of marijuana, etc. that we’re basically sentencing people to not only lose their liberty but to experience all these other atrocious aspects of prison.”

DANIELA: We’ll cover this more in the next installment, but how is your call for submissions for Tenacious #29 going?

For the upcoming issue I’ve actually gotten 4-6 pieces by women incarcerated in the women’s prison in Rhode Island, which I’ve sent one person there copies of Tenacious. Apparently she’s been sharing them around, so now I’m getting pieces from the women in Rhode Island even though I don’t have a prior relationship with any of them.

So, you can kind of trace where people are sharing copies and passing them along as something like “hey you should read this.” Also ,I don’t know if they’re encouraging their friends to write or if the women are reading Tenacious and thinking “you know, it’s not an intimidating thing to write something and send it in.”

COMMUNITY: Stay tuned for three more installments from this interview with Vikki Law that will share more issues of Tenacious.

ABOUT VIKKI LAW

Victoria Law is a writer, photographer, and mother. After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations.

Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison and has facilitated having incarcerated women’s writings published in larger publications, such as Clamor magazine, the website “Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance” and the upcoming anthology Interrupted Lives. In 1995, she became involved with ABC No Rio, a collectively run arts center on New York’s Lower East Side, serving as Board Treasurer from 1997 to 2002.

In 1997, she organized a group of activist photographers to transform one of No Rio’s upstairs tenement apartments into a black-and-white photo darkroom for community use. Since then, she has remained actively involved in coordinating (and sometimes co-teaching) free photography classes for neighborhood youth. In addition, she has participated in and curated numerous exhibitions at No Rio’s gallery, many with themes addressing social and political issues such as incarceration, grassroots efforts to rebuild New Orleans, Zapatista organizing, police brutality, and squatting.

In 2003, she collaborated with China Martens to create “Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind,” a workshop addressing the specific (and often unacknowledged) needs of parents and children in radical movements; and has co-facilitated discussions in Baltimore, New York City, Providence, Montreal, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Boston. With Jessica Mills and China Martens, she is compiling a handbook for allies of radical parents by the same name.

VIKKI’S BOOKS

Vikki is a great example of a woman of color who makes zines and other intersectional materiality. 

Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities (buy here)

Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women 2nd ed. (buy here)

Som praise for Resistance Behind Bars

"An important contribution to the growing movement to end prisons as we know them."—Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

"Law’s important book illuminates these under reported stories of individual and collective organizing by women in prison and encourages all of us to work in solidarity across prison walls to create a world that no longer includes the prison industrial complex.”—Angela Y. Davis, author of Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prison, Torture, and Empire and Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz

"Written in regular English, rather than academese, this is an impressive work of research and reportage."—Mumia Abu-Jamal, political prisoner and author of Live From Death Row

WATCH VIKKI TALK ABOUT GENDER AND THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

 Watch part 2 of this video here.

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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

SCENE REPORT: POC Zine Project at Allied Media Conference [Pt 2 of 3]: Let’s Keep Talking About Colo(u)rism & Share Solutions

Allied Media Conference 2013 is from June 20 - 23, 2013. This is POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano’s recap from #AMC2013 on Saturday, June 22. Read the first installment.

I have been experiencing eerily interconnected events since I arrived at #AMC2013 and I am not the only one. Time after time since the start of this conference, several attendees have shared with me how they ran into someone they had been meaning to—needing to—connect with back at home, only to have that important conversation here in Detroit.

It’s a beautiful and strange feeling to not only experience this phenomenon, but to observe others experience it. People seeking support or counsel are finding it here. People needing resources for a project or the space to process an idea for a project are finding that space. It’s as if many folks are tapped into a frequency and we’re responding to and sharing support as we dip in and out of that frequency. Spontaneous conversations between strangers lead to epiphanies, healing. 

I am not trying to paint #AMC2013 as this monolithic utopia that everyone experiences in the same ways. I am trying to help you, dear reader, understand that this conference is changing me in ways that are both exhilarating and sometimes a little scary and that I’ve heard stories from several folks who are having the same experience. 

In the spirit of honoring the frequency/interconnectedness at #AMC2013, here is a personal story that I want to share with you…

#selfcare: A moment for reflecting with the orbs at #amc2013

[DESCRIPTION: POCZP founder Daniela’s POV while taking a quiet moment to reflect inside the Student Center at Wayne State University in Detroit on June 22, 2013]

Yesterday I arrived to the conference later than I intended to, so I missed the opportunity to get free acupuncture and a tarot reading. I was feeling overwhelmed and triggered by my personal experiences from the previous day (good things, but still intense), and so I was really disappointed that the wellness/health space was no longer providing services that afternoon. I actually considered leaving—going back to my hotel. I had so many thoughts swimming in my head that I felt like I couldn’t take one more intense conversation.

Something inside of me told me I should take a minute before leaving to “chill out.” I meandered around the campus for a while, looking for a workshop to attend. I had forgotten my conference booklet back in my room, so I had no idea what was going on. Suddenly, I saw POCZP Midwest Coordinator Joyce Hatton entering a building. Without even thinking, I called out “Joyce! are you going to the Understanding Colo(ur)ism in Media session?”

LET’S TALK ABOUT COLO(U)RISM

****TRIGGER WARNING****

I hope that everyone will read this but also understand that discussions about colourism can be very triggering. If you aren’t ready to read about this topic at the moment, now is the opportunity to perhaps bookmark this for later or to make sure you have the time/space to process this safely. It may not be a good idea to read this at work or in a public space where you wouldn’t feel comfortable experiencing a variety of emotions. 

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.