POC ZINE PROJECT

Posts tagged revolution

POC Zine Project ‘Let’s Talk About’ column #1: ‘I Make Books…That’s My Shit’

Free Poet's Press website

I Make Books…That’s My Shit: Notes on How I Came to Media Making

By POCZP Midwest Coordinator Chaun Webster, founder of Free Poet’s Press

I make books…that’s my shit.  Love the smell of the pages.  I can recall more than a few embarrassing moments as a child with my head stuck in them as I sat in the library taking deep breaths in.  But more than just the book object, I love reading.  Sci-fi of the order of Octavia Butler, Wild Seed, YES PLEASE!  

Prison Letters from George Jackson, Autobiography by Assata Shakur, Biomythography of Audre Lorde or Maxine Hong Kingston.  I can’t get enough of the magic of language, the dance of the letters on the page as meanings collide in the sometimes challenging, sometimes breathtaking moments.  From Eduardo Galeano, to Ben Okri, to Gloria Anzuldia, I continue to be baptized.  

But more than just reading perhaps it is story that draws me, for I cannot remember my mother ever reading me something that she ever wrote down, but she could tell a story masterfully.  Whether the mysterious, the anecdotal or the epic, she knew how to draw from the powers of her experiences and bear witness.

This is some of the spirit with which I came to my own form of media making, the writing and publishing performing the same gesture that my mother’s storytelling did.  Though I don’t believe she was cognizant of it her stories were a gesture of power, of recognizing that we are here, and that though the legitimate records have criminally left us absent, we will continue to bear witness.  That witness can serve the purpose of balm or explosive strapped to the structures that assault us day to day.  

In my journey with books I would read the record of David Walker and his Appeal, make my own connections to that account and Nat Turner’s rebellion. There was a sense I came to about the interrelation of culture and resistance. Whether it was with this narrative or the work of Ida B. Wells, Lewis Michaux, Dudley Randall or Haki Madhubuti and their respective presses or bookstores, there was something to be said about culture and movement-making.

How do we imagine what has happened or what is possible? What force shapes the way we desire or negotiate and even dare to undermine the structures that govern, if not a cultural force?

Knowing of these stories and of their power was what made me so perplexed by “zinesters” who located that practice in something that was most often raced white and gendered male. The idea of DIY as chic, or a form of branding, misses the substance of the politically performed practice of enslaved Afrikans for whom writing was made illegal. Those same Afrikans who wrote anyway to bear witness that we were here, and will remain. It omits the work of the Black and Brown women who have held the traditions together and whose words work as mortar and sledgehammer.

I make books because there was something humanizing in seeing Jessica Care Moore’s Moore Black Press. It’s power signified something local in knowledge production, that that act was not always external.

I make books because there is a space between oppression and resistance that culture occupies, because cultural revolution is the weapon and because I intend to be fully armed.

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image

Free Poet’s Press is a small publishing company started in 2009 by Chaun Webster (POCZP Midwest Coordinator) with the intent of empowering Black and Brown artists to control their own images. 

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"Let’s Talk About…" is an experimental series by POCZP created to share communal knowledge, resources and reflections on a wide range of topics affecting communities of color.

If you are a person of color—or a white person with a history of supporting POC Zine Project— who wants to contribute to “Let’s Talk About…” submit to poczineproject@gmail.com with “Let’s Talk About” in the subject line. 

All submissions to "Let’s Talk About…" will be compiled into a zine (print & digital) that will be released by POCZP in December of 2013.

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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

Three-year anniversary statement
Imagine that your path to self actualization is like crossing a rushing, dangerous river — and the only way to get across is by accessing stepping stones in the water. Now, pretend that each of those stones is a form of media you reference in your daily life. You will see that certain people are drawn to certain stones. Different variables create inequality, which informs progress (or lack of).You’ll see how some people, particularly white people invested in keeping people of color from moving forward, prevent a lot of self actualizing from happening. You’ll see it in real time and in the history of this river (life).POC Zine Project is about cultivating stepping stones — points of cultural reference — for people of color to utilize and draw strength & healing from on their path. 

We are here to disrupt. We’re connecting people to life lines. We’re empowering people of color to create new maps for self actualization, while identifying existing ones.We’re both educating and learning from allies, who evolve along with us.From this paradigm, you will begin to understand why POCZP is an experiment in activism and community through materiality, and why we are committed to being a space of healing for people of color.Through the duration of this project, we will change all the time, because our community is changing all the time. We are growing, learning, collaborating and thriving — all the time. We are constantly observing, assessing, reflecting, revising and evolving. We both live inside academia and in direct opposition to it. We embrace our existence as a blessed bundle of contradictions devoted to supporting self actualization and liberation for POC. After three years at this, we are proud to declare it:We are POC Zine Project and our mission is to make zines by people of color easy to find, distribute and share. We are an experiment in activism and community through materiality, and function as an advocacy platform and incubator for liberation.Thank you for your support.
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ABOUT THE RACE RIOT! TOUR
POC Zine Project held its first Race Riot! Tour in 2012, producing 20 events in 14 cities, which included speaking engagements at six universities. Click here to view photos from the POC Zine Project: 2012 Race Riot! Tour tour finale at Death By Audio in Brooklyn and access all the tour stop recaps.
STAY INFORMED
We will be taking the Race Riot! Tour through 14 more cities in 2013. Stay tuned!
Facebook.com/POCZineProject
Twitter.com/poczineproject
poczineproject.tumblr.com
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 and the poverty zine series.
DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh
You can also send well-concealed cash or a check! Email daniela@dcapmedia.com for details or if you have questions.
Info about the poverty zine series: http://bit.ly/RLVTVt
<3,
POC Zine Project

Three-year anniversary statement

Imagine that your path to self actualization is like crossing a rushing, dangerous river — and the only way to get across is by accessing stepping stones in the water. 

Now, pretend that each of those stones is a form of media you reference in your daily life. You will see that certain people are drawn to certain stones. Different variables create inequality, which informs progress (or lack of).

You’ll see how some people, particularly white people invested in keeping people of color from moving forward, prevent a lot of self actualizing from happening. You’ll see it in real time and in the history of this river (life).

POC Zine Project is about cultivating stepping stones — points of cultural reference — for people of color to utilize and draw strength & healing from on their path. 

Rushing River

We are here to disrupt. 

We’re connecting people to life lines. 

We’re empowering people of color to create new maps for self actualization, while identifying existing ones.

We’re both educating and learning from allies, who evolve along with us.

From this paradigm, you will begin to understand why POCZP is an experiment in activism and community through materiality, and why we are committed to being a space of healing for people of color.

Through the duration of this project, we will change all the time, because our community is changing all the time. We are growing, learning, collaborating and thriving — all the time. We are constantly observing, assessing, reflecting, revising and evolving. 

We both live inside academia and in direct opposition to it. 

We embrace our existence as a blessed bundle of contradictions devoted to supporting self actualization and liberation for POC. 

After three years at this, we are proud to declare it:

We are POC Zine Project and our mission is to make zines by people of color easy to find, distribute and share. 

We are an experiment in activism and community through materiality, and function as an advocacy platform and incubator for liberation.

Thank you for your support.

———————————————————

ABOUT THE RACE RIOT! TOUR

POC Zine Project held its first Race Riot! Tour in 2012, producing 20 events in 14 cities, which included speaking engagements at six universities. Click here to view photos from the POC Zine Project: 2012 Race Riot! Tour tour finale at Death By Audio in Brooklyn and access all the tour stop recaps.

STAY INFORMED

We will be taking the Race Riot! Tour through 14 more cities in 2013. Stay tuned!

Facebook.com/POCZineProject

Twitter.com/poczineproject

poczineproject.tumblr.com

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 and the poverty zine series.

DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh

You can also send well-concealed cash or a check! Email daniela@dcapmedia.com for details or if you have questions.

Info about the poverty zine series: http://bit.ly/RLVTVt

<3,

POC Zine Project