TITLE: The First 7-inch Was Better: How I Became an Ex-Punk (2008)
AUTHOR: Nia King
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.
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
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SCENE REPORT: POC Zine Project at Allied Media Conference [Pt 2 of 3]: Let’s Keep Talking About Colo(u)rism & Share Solutions
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…
[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
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.