"She’s strong, she’s foxy, and she uses the power of words to combat the evil Dominant Narrative. And she rocks a hot afro."
Meet Helvetika Bold, a new kind of superhero. The Opportunity Agenda worked with New York Times bestselling author and artist Gan Golan and Betsy Richards, Senior Creative Fellow at The Opportunity Agenda, to create Helvetika Bold, who represents an alignment between a traditional advocacy approach and creative social justice strategies.
"Helvetika’s story begins at a time where people’s minds are blocked by Mindset, a powerful and shadowy figure who delights in closing and locking people’s minds.
His weapon: the dominant narrative, which focuses people away from the true causes of inequality by laying blame on the people most affected by it.
We first meet Helvetika’s alter ego, Ariel Black, a passionate and hardworking social justice advocate. Ariel’s work is continually thwarted by the dominant narrative - and the media’s complicity in advancing it.
Her frustration leads her on an adventure that culminates with the unleashing of Helvetika Bold, a new kind of super hero who battles Mindset and the dominant narrative with stories of inspiration and hope.”
The Opportunity Agenda states that Helvetika actually resides in everyone who wants progressive change. She stands for each of our powers to inspire hope, amplify voices, and uphold the values we all share and cherish.
READ NOW FOR FREE:
You can download it here, thanks to The Opportunity Agenda, or you can flip through it now via POCZP founder Daniela’s ISSUU page:
Go behind the scenes on AFROPUNK.COM - our point of awareness for this comic.
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY AGENDA
Through active partnerships, The Opportunity Agenda synthesizes and translates research on barriers to opportunity and corresponding solutions; uses communications and media to understand and influence public opinion; and identifies and advocates for policies that improve people’s lives. To achieve their mission, they focus on racial equity, immigration, economic opportunity, reproductive health and rights, and African-American men and boys.
"We have it in our power as a nation to expand opportunity for all. Doing so requires working to turn our beliefs and aspirations into public support for fundamental change. Read our newest brochure to learn more about us.”
The Opportunity Agenda is a project of Tides Center
SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT
POCZP hopes you had a great summer! We’ve been working on ways to remain sustainable in the long term while individually practicing #selfcare. In the meantime, you can support the cause by sending us a gift of any amount. All funds go to ongoing advocacy costs, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.
If everyone in our community gave $10, we would more than meet our fundraising goals for 2015.
DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh
From POCZP founder Daniela:
What if—while processing an idea or enjoying an event—you could fairly quickly & easily make a zine about what you were experiencing on your phone and then share it that same day?
This zine experiment was inspired by real-time news gathering practices and young people. It didn’t work out exactly as I had planned, but it was exciting to explore different possibilities. In part one of this series, I’ll share one of three methods I uncovered: Here is the experimental perzine I made using my mobile device called “Cat Genie Vol. 2: Chola Fruitz“:
[DESCRIPTION: Chola Fruitz is an experimental perzine and a dream-like reflection on group travel, subverting Chola identity tropes, Queer Chicana identity and the evolution of self. Daniela made it in an hour while sitting on her couch, using images she edited within her phone using two mobile apps]
Learn how to make your own zine using just your phone on Daniela’s Lair, plus access her thoughts on the pros and cons to mobile device zine-making workflows.
Excerpt from the full guide:
3) The Lazy Artist Factor: Part of the fun and empowerment of making a zine by hand (and offline) is that you can explore your creativity and develop your design skills. Experimenting with layouts, collages and other techniques as part of a print zine workflow can be a really satisfying experience. You miss out on that experience by just using the provided templates in apps, to a significant degree. If everyone used the same zine-making templates, all zines would start to look the same, which would be a bummer.
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
This year’s tour features Michelle Tea, Ali Liebegott, Dave End, Texta Queen, Daniel Levesque, and of course CCR!
As Cristy aptly put it:
Too many queer boners in one sentence? Its okay, the universe prefers it that way. Come out and listen to us read and perform from our latest projects, laugh a little, rage a little, gaze into your lovers eyes and cry a little……
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin St. San Francisco, CA 94102
Rock, Paper, Scissors Collective
2278 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, California 94612
Pasadena City College/Creveling Lounge
1570 East Colorado Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91106
900 University Avenue Riverside, CA 92521
Richard Hugo House
1634 11th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122
The Intercultural Firehouse at IFCC
University of Oregon
585 E. 13th Avenue Eugene, OR 97403-1279
The Voice Shop
1296 N Wishon, Fresno, California 93728
Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90045
631 West 2nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90012
624 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, California 90802
235 Bowery, New York, New York 10002
332 Hudson Avenue, Albany, New York 12210
214 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario
A Room of One’s Own Bookstore
315 W. Gorham St., Madison, Wisconsin 53703
Part of the CIMMFEST
300 E Third St, Bloomington, Indiana 47402
Itoro recently read all six issues of Shotgun Seamstress in a row. Here is what she learned from them:
It’s hard to speak to everything the Shotgun Seamstress zine collection taught me. It really does give you everything: interviews, stories, being queer, black, punk, female, broke, weird, loving music, knowing your history, loving yourself…it draws from a lot of sources and that right there sums up this history of the punk scene and the Black experience: We pull from everywhere and we survive and thrive too.
That’s my biggest lesson, but here are five more just for good measure:
1. WE need our people
Reading Shotgun Seamstress opened my eyes to our need for each other’s affirmation, community and understanding while trying to do the impossible: live in the margins. It’s important that when we find each other, we do what we can to build community and lift each other up, usually we’re the only black face in the white crowd. Many of the punk rockers, artists, drag queens, musicians, made that clear in Shotgun Seamstress. From how white the punk scene is, specifically, and how black folks are constantly pushed to the margins, it’s important for us, as Audre Lorde so eloquently puts it, “to practice how to be tender with one another.” I was shocked and awed to see the type of love and gentleness Shotgun Seamstress had to the multiplicity of voices it brought in.
2. Our struggles affirm one another
THE WOMEN OF COLOR IN PUNK CONFERENCE organized by Osa Atoe was talked about in the zine series as an affirming experience for women of color and a place of knowledge on a personal, political and historical level. It gave a space to share and think about how women of color could carry the torch forward and make life easier for young punksters participating in zine culture.
3. Don’t you yuck my yum
Stop commodifying my shit and learn your gotdamn herstory mofo!—Who are you to tell me what punk is? What a black punk is? What I should look like or sound like? Who are you to buy my shit, sell my shit, exploit my shit, silence my shit and then tell ME what to do!
One of the points that Shotgun Seamstress addresses is the African roots of punk and the importance of knowing that we stand in a long line of black peoples who made most of the music that we hear what it is. Let’s remember where things come from:
“Yes, rock and roll and almost the entire American pop pantheon comes from the blood sweat, and tears of sharecroppers, slaves and disenfranchised people.” — Chris Sutton
4. DO NOT leave any of yourself out of the equation
It all counts and all parts of ourselves need to be in our analysis and knowledge of our conditions. The fearlessness that the many voices had in Shotgun Seamstress in reclaiming the weird, the awkward, the queer, the difference in ourselves has to be a part of our liberation processes. Especially when looking at how to address our experiences, the personal is political and we should always question a scene-movement that expects us to leave an aspect of ourselves (that they don’t want to swallow) at the door.
5. Be an Ally not a Disappointment
Not gonna spend too much energy on this point, but a recurring issue that was highlighted throughout Shotgun Seamstress was the need for more allies, specifically white allies to “not talk that talk, if you ain’t gonna walk that.” Disappointment when we fail each other in this way does not even begin to cover it.
Some more key truths that I took away can be found below.
Life calls for resourcefulness, especially when you are on the margins…
Black punksters might be “obscure” but they have always been here…
Be courageous enough to break the silence…
If you don’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?…
Rock on, stay strong…
What were your take aways? What resonated most with you?
Join the conversation and if you haven’t read the Shotgun Seamstress zine collection, please do and add your thoughts.
ABOUT SHOTGUN SEAMSTRESS
The final issue of Shotgun Seamstress zine was completed in the fall of 2011. Now, all six issues are compiled in a book that was published by Mend My Dress Press.
The first issue of Shotgun Seamstress came out in August of 2006. Read issue #1 for free here:
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.
'What I learned from …' is a new feature that you will find on POCZP’s digital platforms. POCZP will share zine analysis by and for POC to affirm our experiences and interpretation of independently created POC publications. We are starting a dialog.
POCZP Interns can contribute (learn about our internship program here) to this ongoing feature, as well as ANYONE who is interested in reading POC zines and reflecting on them. The only requirement is that you must identify as a person of color.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to write the next 'What I learned from …' edition. Put “What I learned from …’ ” in the subject line and include the following in the email body:
1) The zine, or series of zines, you want to read and review
2) Indicate if you already have access to the zine/s or need assistance accessing them
3) Include links to three writing samples, or submit three new writing samples (zine reviews or book reviews)
That’s it! <3