POC ZINE PROJECT

Posts tagged zinester spotlight

Meet Nyky Gomez: POCZP’s 2014 L.A. Zine Fest Tabler and Panelist (4 of 5)

POC Zine Project is tabling and hosting a panel discussion at the 2014 L.A. Zine Fest! Meet one of our five collaborators and zine distro partner, Nyky Gomez, founder of Brown Recluse Zine Distro:

Nyky Gomez, POCZP zine distro partner & #raceriottour member[Description: Nyky Gomez, founder of Brown Recluse Zine Distro and 2013 #RaceRiotTour member. Photo credit: Nyky Gomez]

Nyky Gomez is a fourth generation Mexican-american of Apache and Comanche descent. Nyky writes Skinned Heart Zine, connecting her personal experiences in life to political and social themes in hopes of creating conversation that will lead to big and small change.

Zines have been a vital component of my life for the past 13 years of my life. On more than one occasion reading a zine that was relevant to my experience as a Queer Woman of Color saved me from the depths of despair. The POCZP is such an important component in archiving our very meaningful histories and making them accessible to those of us who need them the most.

I wanted to table with POCZP to continue meeting awesome and inspirational POC zinesters and writers. Traveling with POCZP in October was an experience that triggered a lot of growth, reflection and change. It re-affirmed my belief in POC punks and D.I.Y. Ethics and inspired me to continue on this path that I have chosen.

I met and got to travel with a group of fierce group of Queer People of Color that feel like family to me. There were a lot of challenges on tour as there always will be when getting together a group of fierce people trying to make the world more tolerable. I wanted to table with POCZP at L.A. Zine Fest because I love engaging with challenge and am looking forward to the many challenges and victories that will inevitably be apart of creating a radical network of POC zine writers. - Nyky Gomez

Her writing focuses on her experiences as a Brown women involved in punk and activist sub-culture, relationships, healing from abuse, family, resistance culture, assimilation and feminism. 

Scemes from #RaceRiotTour: Nyky Gomez, Brown Recluse Zine Distro #Arizona #Tucson #zines #poczines

[DESCRIPTION: Nyky tabling with BRZD at the 2013 #RaceRiotTour date at Skrappy’s Youth Collective in Tucson, AZ]

Nyky also currently operates Brown Recluse Zine Distro, a project dedicated to centering zines written by People of Color started in the spirit of visibility.

NOW on #RaceRiotTour: Anna Vo, Nyky Gomez, @inzombia and @animaldyke69 before we depart for #sanfrancisco #zines #poczines

[DESCRIPTION: Nyky Gomez (flower tights) with other 2013 #RaceRiotTour members (left to right) Anna Vo, Mimi Thi Nguyen and Tracey Brown in Los Angeles, CA]

Nyky spends her days making her dreams and visions into mixed media collages, writing Skinned Heart Zine, gardening, spending time in the woods, learning the fine magical art of reading tarot and weaving spells with her water family.

Dominatrix and social worker for pay, creative spirit, warrior, bruja, punkera and feminista by nature. She is a lizard-hearted desert born Tejana currently living in Seattle, Washington with her husband and spirit dog, Wilson.

Scenes from #RaceRiotTour: Nyky Gomez reading at @somarts in #sanfrancisco (founder of Brown Recluse Zine Distro) #zines #poczines

[DESCRIPTION: Nyky Gomez reading at SOMArts in San Francisco, CA, during the 2013 national #RaceRiottour]

Outside of writing zines and running Brown Recluse Zine Distro, Nyky also helps organize the Seattle Anarchist Book Fair with other rad POC folks.

POC Zine Project is sharing tabling space with Nyky/Brown Recluse Zine Distro during the 2014 L.A. Zine Fest. Here is one of the many titles that will be available at the fest through BRZD:

Xicanistas y Punkeristas Say It Loud!: $3.00 Shipping $0.46

This zine is absolutely amazing and inspiring. It is the first I have ever read that exclusively focuses on Xicanas contributions to punk. Written for a college class with the intention of the zine not being appropriate but instead being an accessible text for all people, this zine is floats way above the academy, giving a voice to an often forgotten experience. Brenda writes about her introduction to punk and the impact that those experiences have had on her life. In these collage heavy pages you will find the history of Xicanas in rock ‘n’ roll music as well as several beautifully written pieces about the Punkera experience.

Brenda Montano currently is my favorite zine writer. I met her in Oakland when we both attended “This is Not a Step Fest.” She gave me her zines and I devoured them on the drive home from Oakland. I felt immediately inspired about being a WOC who navigates punk spaces and the fact that hey we have been apart of this since the beginning. A solid zine and lady! You can order this online through the Brown Recluse website, through snail mail or at LAZF! - Nyky Gomez

Come by to say hi to Nyky and to purchase a wide variety of zines created by people of color. If you’d like to help BRZD meet their fundraising goal, click here to donate.

BACKGROUND

POC Zine Project tabled at the 2013 L.A. Zine Fest and had a lot of fun. Read the recap here.

As part of our advocacy to support as many POC creators as possible, we’ve partnered with both new and past folks on this year’s events. POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano put out a call for new tabling and speaking partners for the 2014 L.A. Zine Fest, which resulted in our latest lineup. 

Nyky Gomez was a touring member during the 2013 #RaceRiotTour. Her distro, Brown Recluse, is POCZP’s official zine distro partner for 2014.

We will announce panel discussion details on February 12, 2014.

MEET ALL OUR COLLABORATORS

Cihuatl Ce (Founder, Ovarian Psyco-Cycles Bicycle Brigade in Los Angeles, CA)

Ara Christina Jo (Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland, CA)

Dail Chambers (Founder, Yeyo Arts collective in St. Louis, MO)

Nyky Gomez (Founder, Brown Recluse Zine Distro in Seattle, WA)

Tracey Brown (Community Organizer in New Orleans)

ABOUT 2014 L.A. ZINE FEST

L.A. Zine Fest is organized by a collective of zine-enthusiasts dedicated to promoting zine culture as a means to connect the pre-exisiting communities in L.A.–artistic or otherwise. They aim to create opportunities for people to share self-published works and host events that encourage ideas to spill out onto paper in pictures and words. They believe that by embracing the urge to create and sharing ideas there can be a more robust and formidable local zine community that extends beyond bookstores and bedrooms. L.A. Zine Fest is an opportunity for Southern California’s zinesters to come together en masse in order to meet and exchange ideas with those from all over the country.

Join us this year on February 16, 2014, when LAZF welcomes 175+ exhibitors of zines and small press publications to Helms Bakery as zinesters, comics creators and DIY publishers to come together to share their work with each other and with the public at large.

Helms Bakery District Parking Garage
(between La Dijonaise and Vitra)
8703 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

______________

SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $10, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2014. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to ongoing advocacy costs, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.

We are rebooting our org structure and operations in 2014 and will be transparent about that process. Stay tuned.

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

Meet Ara Christina Jo: POCZP’s 2014 L.A. Zine Fest Tabler and Panelist (1 of 5)

POC Zine Project is tabling and hosting a panel discussion at the 2014 L.A. Zine Fest! Meet one of our five collaborators, Ara Christina Jo:

Ara Christina Jo: POCZP tabler and speaker at 2014 L.A. ZINE FEST

On behalf of public space and of public good, Ara Christina Jo is faceted as a community organizer, freelance graphic designer, illustrator and gallery preparator based in Oakland, CA.

Ara Christina Jo: POCZP tabler and speaker at 2014 L.A. ZINE FEST

Since 2008, Ara has been a volunteering Member and Gallery Director at the all-volunteer-run non-profit Rock Paper Scissors Collective, organizing accessible exhibits, performances, readings and workshops (read POCZP’s 2013 RPSC tour recap here).

Rock Paper Scissors Collective

To celebrate literary and visual fashion, Ara also is a co-organizer of the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest (EBABZ) hosted at Berkeley City College for the last two years alongside Tomas Moniz (RAD DAD), dedicated to reciprocating the needs of the creative community in the Bay Area.

East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest in Berkeley

In addition to participating in POCZP’s panel discussion at the 2014 L.A. Zine Fest, Ara will be sharing our tabling space with us. Here’s a preview of what you can buy and/or do a trade for:

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: "Diez Digitz"

"Diez Digitz" - 17"x11" xerox bond (2011)

Bringing out an oldie but a goodie! “Diez Digitz” is a contemporary coloring book of four life-size center-spreads of hands in several varieties of nail shapes and themed settings, illustrated to redefine the expressive personality relative to the fantasies and harsh realities women face, sans faces. This coloring zine was drawn in attempt to make friends and exchange goods and services with those that honored bartering in Mexico DF.

Purchase is available in-person or by request via e-mail (arachristinajo AT gmail DOT com).

Ara will also be tabling with the East Bay Alternative book & Zine Fest official program/zine, “You Turn My Pages” how to make a zine-zine, “Um Ma” zine about Korean moms, shrinky dink & toy pins, and more! 

ARA, IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Here is what Ara shared about being a POCZP collaborator this year:

As a native to Los Angeles, I am ashamed of never having attended, let alone participated in LA Zine Fest. Some cuties representing LAZF tabled for two days next to the RPSC booth I was sitting (granted gratis annually from SFZF) and couldn’t help become impressed that they had come to The Bay to spread the good word about their baby zine fest in-the-making. Out of all California has to offer exhibiting book arts and independent publishing, I am proud to witness (from afar) an event that invests so much effort into juggling events year-round.
I find the same grade of tenacious energy when I started following the POCZP tour thru the POCZP Instagram, all smiles uploaded. Working with Tomas of RAD DAD, I was introduced to the project, scouring over the website in gratitude. Inspiration is inevitable, grown from the miles of sweat and gas and bad fast food that the contributors of POCZP trailed to share stories, facts, hopes and disappointments.
Ideas are pouring from all sides, making new fronts to defend and decorate. Let it be known: I’m holding a banner up alongside you.

BACKGROUND

POC Zine Project tabled at the 2013 L.A. Zine Fest and had a lot of fun. Read the recap here.

As part of our advocacy to support as many POC creators as possible, we’ve partnered with both new and past folks on this year’s events. POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano put out a call for new tabling and speaking partners for the 2014 L.A. Zine Fest, which resulted in our latest lineup. 

We will announce panel discussion details on February 12, 2014.

MEET ALL OUR COLLABORATORS

Cihuatl Ce (Founder, Ovarian Psyco-Cycles Bicycle Brigade in Los Angeles, CA)

Ara Christina Jo (Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland, CA)

Dail Chambers (Founder, Yeyo Arts collective in St. Louis, MO)

Nyky Gomez (Founder, Brown Recluse Zine Distro in Seattle, WA)

Tracey Brown (Community Organizer in New Orleans)

ABOUT 2014 L.A. ZINE FEST

L.A. Zine Fest is organized by a collective of zine-enthusiasts dedicated to promoting zine culture as a means to connect the pre-exisiting communities in L.A.–artistic or otherwise. They aim to create opportunities for people to share self-published works and host events that encourage ideas to spill out onto paper in pictures and words. They believe that by embracing the urge to create and sharing ideas there can be a more robust and formidable local zine community that extends beyond bookstores and bedrooms. L.A. Zine Fest is an opportunity for Southern California’s zinesters to come together en masse in order to meet and exchange ideas with those from all over the country.

Join us this year on February 16, 2014, when LAZF welcomes 175+ exhibitors of zines and small press publications to Helms Bakery as zinesters, comics creators and DIY publishers to come together to share their work with each other and with the public at large.

Helms Bakery District Parking Garage
(between La Dijonaise and Vitra)
8703 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

______________

SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $10, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2014. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to ongoing advocacy costs, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.

We are rebooting our org structure and operations in 2014 and will be transparent about that process. Stay tuned.

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

ZINESTER SPOTLIGHT: Anna Vo, 2013 #RaceRiotTour Member

2013 #RaceRiotTour member Anna Vo

[DESCRIPTION: Anna Vo, POCZP Touring Member]

Anna Vo was the first person to travel from outside the U.S. to volunteer with POCZP, as a touring member on last year’s #RaceRiotTour. <3

To our delight, she’s back! You can meet Anna at ALL 2013 #RaceRiotTour dates, as she is a full-time touring member <3

Anna will be providing mediation support as a grievance counsellor at all POCZP events and within our touring vehicle, as needs arise. Anna will function as part of the POCZP Wellness Team. We appreciate her service.

ABOUT ANNA VO

Anna works with different types of activist communities and sectors to address racism, power, privilege, gentrification, inclusive practices, squatting law (squashcampaign.org), community accountability and transformative justice. The most fun/rewarding part of it all is running empowerment workshops and programs for PoC only. 

She also works for free on community consulted architectural projects in different cities/countries, and organizes free schools, fests, autonomous spaces, etc. She currently lives in Berlin where she works as a social worker, counsellor and mediator.

Anna has played music (hardcore, solo folk: annavo.bandcamp.com), etc.) for over 10 years, has run a black metal/noise/doom record label (An Out Recordings: anout.bandcamp.com) for 6 years, and is also forever making a comic, and finishing a novel about growing up Vietnamese in a government housing project in a white Australian beach town.

Her zines, posters, and other info can be downloaded hereannavo.wordpress.com. She currently plays guitar and sings in a xvx feminist dark hc band xfirstworldproblemx (xfirstworldproblemx.bandcamp.com) and screamo band broken ‘ships (brokenships.bandcamp.com); and drums in doom/improv/noise band Mourning Star.

She is seeking work/housing/hangout opportunities in the United States :-) So, say hi!

Here’s what Anna had to say about joining this year’s Race Riot! Tour experience: 

I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to join the tour again this year. There were so many beautiful, challenging, reflective, strong moments during last year’s Race Riot! tour.

The power of intentional space-making was palpable, and we got emotional, we processed in different ways, and at different rates.

I’m looking forward to this tour, and a possible change in focus… Although I appreciate my DIY punk bubble, I’m excited about sharing with a broader cross-section of people, and working with inspiring PoC struggles from lots of different perspectives (especially around indigenous sovereignty in North America).

There’s lots of crappy dispiriting things going on in our shitty world (the ‘justice’ system, remorseless violence, exploitation, trafficking, abuses of power) and while we fight for small shifts or big changes, what keeps us going is making genuine, awesome connections with lovely people with common goals of social justice.

I’ll be finishing three zines especially for this tour, one of which reflects on the 6 years of the NT Intervention in Australia, my perzine The Swan the Vulture #4, and another is the latest issue of Fix My Head, now co-editted with Osa from Shotgun Seamstress.

I’m looking forward to meeting you all!

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WANT MORE?

We will share more 2013 #RaceRiotTour member bios between now and our kickoff date, October 3, 2013 in NOLA. We have 19 confirmed touring members so far <3 Bookmark our #RaceRiotTour landing page, as we will update it with all bio links and other important information in the coming days.

______________

SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $10, 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

ZINESTER SPOTLIGHT: Nia King, 2013 #RaceRiotTour Member

2013 #RaceRiotTour member Nia King

[DESCRIPTION: Nia King & her LOVE & ROCKETS shirt <3]

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured Nia King on POCZP’s digital platforms but it’s definitely one of the most exciting announcements so far: 

Nia’s joining the 2013 #RaceRiotTour caravan! Look out for her during the following dates/cities:

10/19/2013 - San Francisco, CA

10/21/2013 - Davis, CA

10/23/2013 - Portland, OR

10/25/2013 - Seattle, WA

Nia will be documenting the NorCal/Northwest leg of the tour through photography and video. She will also be selling two new zines on tour, one tentatively titled Ain’t No One Paying Your Ass to Be There: Words of Wisdom from Queer and Trans Artists of Color, and another called Art School is Hell. Her old zines will also be available, either through her, or through Brown Recluse Distro.

Here’s what Nia had to say about joining this year’s Race Riot! Tour experience: 

The POC Zine Project’s work is SO important! When I was growing up, it was really hard to find zines by people of color. Zines gave me a place to process what it meant to be mixed when I didn’t have a mixed community, and allowed me to connect with other writers from multiracial families like Shannon Perez-Darby (From Here to There and Back Again), Aidan Aberrant (Ataxia), and Claudia Leung (MOONROOT). Lauren Jade Martin’s zine Quantify was particularly influential in helping my understand myself as a mixed-queer person. 

As a largely unregulated and uncensored form of media, I think zines are a really powerful tool for self-expression and community-building in communities that are historically excluded from having their voices heard and their faces seen. Zines offer us the opportunity to “become the media,” which allows us to shape the way our stories are told, a crucial step in self-determination.

ABOUT NIA KING

Nia King is a queer mixed-race art activist from Boston, MA living in Oakland, CA. She is the author of zines such as Angry Black-White Girl, MXD: True Stories by Mixed-Race Writers, the Borderlands series, and The First 7-Inch Was Better: How I Became an Ex-Punk.

She is also the creator of the short film The Craigslist Chronicles, QTPOC Comics, and the podcastWe Want the Airwaves: QPOC Artists on the Rise. While much of her older work focuses on mixed-race identity, her new work focuses on the lives of queer and trans people of color and the power of art as a tool for social change.

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WANT MORE?

We will share more 2013 #RaceRiotTour member bios between now and our kickoff date, October 3, 2013 in NOLA. We have 19 confirmed touring members so far <3 Bookmark our #RaceRiotTour landing page, as we will update it with all bio links and other important information in the coming days.

______________

SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $10, 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

ZINESTER SPOTLIGHT: Nyky Gomez, 2013 #RaceRiotTour Member and Zine Partner

Nyky Gomez, POCZP zine distro partner & #raceriottour member [Description: Nyky Gomez, founder of Brown Recluse Zine Distro and 2013 #RaceRiotTour member. Photo credit: Nyky Gomez]

What would we do without Nyky Gomez? Not only is she coordinating our 10/25/13 Seattle tour date for #RaceRiotTour, she is taking time away from her life needs to tour with POCZP from Tucson to Seattle! 

ABOUT NYKY

Nyky Gomez is a fourth generation Mexican-american of Apache and Comanche descent. Nyky writes Skinned Heart Zine, connecting her personal experiences in life to political and social themes in hopes of creating conversation that will lead to big and small change.

Her writing focuses on her experiences as a Brown women involved in punk and activist sub-culture, relationships, healing from abuse,family, resistance culture, assimilation and feminism. Nyky also currently operates Brown Recluse Zine Distro, a project dedicated to centering zines written by People of Color started in the spirit of visibility.

Nyky spends her days making her dreams and visions into mixed media collages, writing Skinned Heart Zine, gardening, spending time in the woods, learning the fine magical art of reading tarot and weaving spells with her water family. Dominatrix and social worker for pay, creative spirit, warrior, bruja, punkera and feminista by nature.

She is a lizard-hearted desert born Tejana currently living in Seattle, Washington with her husband and dog.

IN NYKY’S OWN WORDS

Zines have been a vital component of my life for the past 13 years. On more than one occasion reading a zine that was relevant to my experience as a Queer Woman of Color saved me from the depths of despair. The POCZP is such an important component in documenting our very meaningful histories and making them accessible to those of us who need them the most.

I really wanted to be apart of this tour for a variety of reasons, the number one reason being a selfish reason, getting to connect with so many talented and inspirational POC writers and artists. Supporting one another and encouraging other POC folks to document their histories is a form of resistance to assimilation and oppression in all it’s forms.

We’re also excited to announce that Nyky/Brown Recluse Zine Distro is POC Zine Project’s official #poczines partner for 2014! BRZD will soon begin carrying zines archived through POCZP. We will share more about what this means after #RaceRiotTour.

If you have anything to spare, please join us in making a donation to help BRZD succeedBRZD is sister distro with No Shame Distro, an East Coast POC zine distro. <3

Brown Recluse Zine Distro (September 2013)

[DESCRIPTION: Brown Recluse Zine Distro store homepage (September 2013)]  

Brown Recluse Zine Distro homepage (September 2013)

[DESCRIPTION: Brown Recluse Zine Distro website homepage (September 2013)]

About Brown Recluse Zine Distro

Brown Recluse Zine Distro was created to support and center zines written predominantly by POC folks of all identities. This project was born out of passion for zines and frustration at the lack of representation and meaningful zine material for People of Color. I scoured through zine distros with a fine tooth comb and found that just like everywhere else in the dominant culture there was a serious lack of material written by POC folks in these distros. This is not because there is a lack of zines written by People of Color, because there are hundreds of self-published works written by People of Color.

My personal zine collection is full of POC zines and zines that are of interest to us. So after many years of reading zines, writing zines and observing zine culture I decided to start a zine distro that centers our voices and presents our large contribution to zine and DIY culture. BRZD is dedicated to our struggles, our projects and our zines. Brown Recluse Zine Distro was born in the spirit of visibility and in the spirit of celebrating our cultures and inter-sectionality.

BRZD exists to strengthen our ties and highlight out inter-sectional relateable experiences. BRZD is here to offer a place to locate POC zines without spending hours browsing the internet. BRZD is currently owned and operated by me, Nyky Gomez; Mexicana, Tejana, Feminista, Writer, Mixed Media/Collage Artist, Punkera, Bruja, Warrior.

______________

WANT MORE?

We will share more 2013 #RaceRiotTour member bios between now and our kickoff date, October 3, 2013 in NOLA. We have 19 confirmed touring members so far <3 Bookmark our #RaceRiotTour landing page, as we will update it with all bio links and other important information in the coming days.

______________

SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $10, 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

ZINESTER SPOTLIGHT: Celina Williams, Zinester & Librarian in Virginia

Some of Celina Williams' zines: POC zinester and librarian in Richmond, VA

[DESCRIPTION: Some of Celina Williams’ own zines. Photo credit: Celina]

By Cata, POCZP East Coast Intern/Coordinator

Celina Williams is a zinester, a librarian of special collections and a Richmond Zine Fest organizer for 5+ years. You can visit Celina and a zine collection within the James Branch Cabell Library in Richmond, VA.

Check out Richmond Zine Fest, happening this year on October 5th! Find out more at richmondzinefest.org. Richmond Zine Fest has been going strong in Richmond, VA, since 2007.

From Celina:

Richmond Zine Fest registration for workshops and tablers is open… if you know of any folks who’d be available/interested to participate Saturday Oct. 5th, I’d be happy to answer any questions.

POCZP’S Q&A WITH CELINA

POCZP: How long have you been making zines?

CELINA: Consciously, for the past 6+ years. When I was a kid I would play around with the stapler and make little books—those are zines right!?

POCZP: Nice! What kind of zines do you make currently?

CELINA: I make poetry and photo zines. My latest issue is Mean Girls and it’s about being told I look mean because I don’t smile. So it got me thinking about the mean/nice binary. Also, being a black and Hispanic woman, I am used to people commenting about my demeanor and look, they often say “what are you?”

POCZP: Any ideas for future zines?

CELINA: Actually, yes!! A friend and I were walking and noticing how trees often have these beautiful designs that often look look like vaginas, so a collaboration zine soon to be made will be called In the Tree’s Vagina.

POCZP: Awesome. Man, I can think of a lot of trees that would be perfect for your zine haha! Switching gears a bit, why do you think making zines is important?

CELINA: Well, I am a librarian and I view zines as creating a kind of archive for yourself. I see zines like that. But it’s an archive that you share. For example my mom bought me a diary when I was younger; but it felt weird to write and not share.

POCZP: Wow!! I love that because it makes me think of one of my favorite quotes “an untold story is the greatest burden” by Alice Walker.

CELINA: Right! And self-publication in zines is cool because in academia there is this rigid way you have to be—and that just doesn’t exist in zines.

POCZP: Any other things your working on?

CELINA: Yes! I am reorganizing the zine collection at our library (yes we have a zine collection!) and after this interview I will be finding out a way to tag and measure POC representation in our collection.

POCZP: That’s awesome! Let POC Zine Project know if you need any support! Any last exciting things happening in your community?

CELINA: Thank-you! and yes…Shout out to Richmond Zine Fest Co-organizers!! Which I’ve been a part of for the past 5+ years. Also, it was just international zine month so don’t forget to check out new zines!!

POCZP: Thank you!

</end>

CONTACT CELINA

celinanicoledoes.tumblr.com

Twitter.com/celinanicole

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SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $10, 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

Let’s Talk About: Zines In The Classroom—Pros and Cons

EDIT2: Middle Schooler Liana Velazquez and her zine She named her zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand" [DESCRIPTION: Liana Velazquez and her zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand” at KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy]

Words and photos by Liz Mayorga, POCZP West Coast Coordinator

I met Liana Velazquez while working at KIPP: San Francisco Bay Academy, a charter school. Liana came in to enroll as a 5th grader. She was shy, but her eyes did not miss a detail. She studied the office as well as the people in it. I soon learned that Liana was not normally reserved. She had just moved to San Francisco from Cuba. Liana was about to start school in a new country, where everything - especially the language - felt foreign. She suffered in school because of the language barrier. Not only did she have a hard time understanding the lessons, but she felt alienated from her classmates. Liana spent a lot of time in the office, where I tutored her. I translated some of her assignments and helped her with her English.

Three years have passed. In that time, I have witnessed Liana’s curiosity and persistence grow even more.  

This year, it came through in her writing. Her eighth grade English teacher, Mr. Patrone, encouraged her to continue writing as many stories as possible. He had his students keep a journal, and Liana’s was filled with a series of short stories (both fictional and personal). Patrone and I are good friends, so I always ask him about the kids. He was happy to tell me about Liana’s progress. “It would be awesome to see her and the other kids push their creativity. See where it will take them,” he said.

We brainstormed ways in which to encourage creative freedom, while following the school’s curriculum. I suggested zines. Patrone agreed that a zine workshop would be a perfect way to end the school year, so after the students finished their CSTs, he assigned a zine project. I came in a once a week (for the last three weeks of school) to look through the student’s work and give them feedback. I was impressed by everyone’s projects. They wrote book reviews, song lyrics, created amazing visual art, and told stories about the things that mattered to them. Even the kids who were “too cool” to care became interested in their assignment.

I asked Patrone if I could give one of these kids a zinester spotlight. He checked with the administration to make sure it was okay, and then he told me to look at Liana Velazquez’s zine. I was not surprised to know her zine was phenomenal. What did surprise me was how much her creativity had flourished in such a short amount of time.

Patrone and I set some time aside for me to interview Liana about her zine. Our interview took place on Friday, May 24, 2013.

THE MAKING OF ‘DIFFEGUAJIRA MIXRAND’ ZINE

Liana Velazquez embraces both languages, Cuban Spanish and English, and after three years of living in the United States, dealing with language barriers, and feeling out of place, Liana has gained the confidence she needs to let her creativity shine through.  Liana writes stories about love, family, and her ever-changing identity. 

Her final 8th grade English assignment was to create a zine, and it proved to be the perfect platform to portray the world, as rich and complicated as she sees it.

She named her zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand,” and she explains: “Diffe stands for different and where I grew up guajiros are really humble (people). They’re poor, but they’re always going to give something to you. You can always trust them, and they’re my people – the people I grew up with.”

Middle Schooler Liana Velazquez and her zine She named her zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand"

[DESCRIPTION: The cover of Liana Velazquez’s zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand”]

Each letter in the title forms a symbol. “Here I drew a little boat,” she points to the D, “because that’s what my dad really likes. He doesn’t have that anymore, since he lives here. We used to live by the ocean, and in Cuba, the ocean is beautiful.” Liana dotted the “I” with a candle light. “The candle protected us from the mosquitos,” she said. She looks at the “A” in “Mixrand,” which resembles a butterfly’s wing and says “The butterfly I put there because my mom loves them. I wanted to represent both my parents. And this…” She points to the bottom of the cover, “This is the address of the house I grew up in. I never forgot it. I forget a lot of stuff, like I forget names, and I always forget my address here, but I never forgot my address in Cuba.”

EDIT: Middle Schooler Liana Velazquez and her zine She named her zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand" 

[DESCRIPTION: “Broken Ears,” from Liana Velazquez’s zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand”]

Liana combined all of the things that make up her identity and the daily challenges that come with love, family, and acclimating to a new country as young woman. When Liana first attended KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy, she spent her lunchtime in the office, turning to the only people in the school who spoke Spanish - the custodian, the secretary, and her bilingual peers – to translate her assignments for her. Communication was a struggle.

But three years later, Mr. Patrone (the eighth grade teacher), asked Liana and her classmates to write in their composition books every day, and Liana was surprised to see how much she had to say.

“At first, I thought it was too much,” Liana says. “I have all this homework and then I have to write, and I was afraid I couldn’t handle it. But then I got into it. I started writing down things, and I showed it to my cousin. She thought it was good. I showed it to Mr. Patrone and he encouraged me to write more. And I couldn’t stop. I wanted to keep writing. I would stay up late, until 1, 2, 3 in the morning, but it was worth it.” 

EDIT: Middle Schooler Liana Velazquez and her zine She named her zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand"

[DESCRIPTION: “My Admiration is touch,” from Liana Velazquez’s zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand”]

Even though Liana already had a love for words and storytelling, this zine project proved to be particularly liberating. The idea of showing her work to other people also encouraged her to put more thought into each piece, and the visual art motivated her to create something amazing. “I was thinking that color was important,” she says, “In the journal, I was just writing. But here, since it’s a zine I know that people do drawings, but I decided to do this because the colors, the red and blue represent flag. And everything represents Cuba and me and everything that I believe in.”

Middle Schooler Liana Velazquez and her zine She named her zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand"

[DESCRIPTION: Excerpt from Liana Velazquez’s zine “Diffeguajira Mixrand”]

Liana’s “Diffeguajiro Mixrand” is an example of how zines help teenagers express much more than words and break through creative freedom. With a mixed media approach to writing, teenagers also have a visual and tactile way to share their thoughts. The realm of communication expands, and people capture multiple pieces of their reality.

________________________________________________

WHEN ZINE-MAKING IN THE CLASSROOM GOES VERY WRONG

By POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano

Liana Velazquez’s story is a positive example of what a zine-making  classroom experience can be like. Her final 8th grade English assignment at KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy was to create a zine and it was clearly an affirming experience for her. I’m happy that POCZP member Liz was in the classroom to support students, as she knows her stuff, when it comes to zine history and contributions by POC in zine & DIY culture.

Unfortunately, this is not every young person of color’s experience when they are first introduced to zine-making, zine culture and history in an academic setting.

During last year’s Race Riot! tour, I listened to—among other things—stories by POC attendees who shared their first introduction to zines. Depending on their age, digital literacy and other factors, feedback ran the gamut of being introduced to a zine by a friend, at a punk show, through Tumblr or as a classroom assignment.

What I noticed was that the younger the person was (23 and younger), the more likely they discovered zines this way:

1) On the Internet (Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, intentionally searching for a specific title, etc.)

2) At a punk/DIY/house show

3) A friend gave them a zine or brought them to a zine event

4) As a (mandatory or optional) class assignment

From these four responses, a mandatory class assignment was the one that raised the most questions—and concerns—for me, and here’s why:

After one of our academic speaking engagements on the tour, a young woman of color approached and asked to speak with me privately. She didn’t want other students to hear her question, so we moved away from the crowd.

This young woman shared that she was experiencing a lot of anxiety around a classroom assignment given to her by a white male professor at the university where I was speaking with POCZP. She was supposed to make a perzine and include personal details about her “culture” and “experiences as a woman.” I didn’t ask her to clarify what the class was about because it didn’t matter—already this whole situation sounded really problematic.

What I did ask her was if her anxiety stemmed from this being a graded assignment, and she said yes. I asked her if divulging personal information about herself and her family for a graded assignment made her uncomfortable, and she said yes.  She looked surprised that I knew these were her biggest concerns, but unfortunately this is not a new story to me.

I then asked her if this was her first time making a zine, and she nodded yes. She leaned forward and whispered, with a nervous look on her face, “How should I make my zine? What should I put it in it?”

That is when I took a deep breathe and gave her a longer and more personalized version of what I am about to share with you all now:

"I am truly sorry that your first introduction to zine-making is through an academic institution. No one should be telling you that there is one set way to make a zine. No one should be requiring you to make a perzine as part of your overall grade.

The only way I could ever see this being justified is if you were a design, journalism, or communications major and enrolled in a class called ‘zine-making,’ and you knew that the expectation was that you would be graded on zine-making (within the parameters established by the instructor, which would be clearly spelled out in advance in the syllabus). That zine-making assignment would NEVER be a perzine, because the teacher would know and understand the history and culture of zines, and that grading someone on a perzine is like following a stranger into the toilet and grading the quality of their piss and shit. It is completely inappropriate

I am sorry that you are experiencing anxiety when you think about making this zine for your class. I wish that instead you were feeling excited and inspired to share your stories, art, insights—and to experiment with art and design. It must be really hard to get into a positive headspace about your first zine, when you know you are going to be graded on detailing personal issues about your life for a white male professor, who has no right to make this a requirement for any class, ever.

I think it’s a huge sign of unchecked privilege for a white male professor to require any student to make a perzine and then grade their output. Your private family life and “cultural” details are none of his damn business. Here is a person who is clearly trying to be “hip” without considering the fact that sometimes, a zine assignment is not the best or most appropriate way to connect with your students or articulate a concept. 

So here’s what we know: you’re going to be graded on this zine whether you like it or not. You could fight it—you could take it above his head and explain to the powers-that-be that this teacher has no business requiring you to disclose personal information for a graded assignment, but I’m not going to tell you to do that. You need to do what’s right for you.

But can I make a suggestion about how to approach this, if you do decide to make this perzine for your class to avoid getting a “bad” grade?

Don’t think of this as your first perzine or zine, because it’s not. It’s not really your zine. You are making something for a teacher’s unrealistic and inappropriate expectations. Don’t feel like you have to disclose anything you don’t want to in this zine—think of this like any other assignment you would have in a class where you know that the only way to get a good grade is to do what the teacher thinks is right, and to write that down. 

So, what has your teacher indicated is the “right” way to make a zine? If you’re unclear about format, size and content, there are plenty of tutorials online that detail this information. Ask your teacher to name an example of a perzine that he likes, try to find it (or the general equivalent) and then follow that format. This way, you know what he’s looking for. You can find many examples of perzines athttp://zinelibrary.info/english/personal.

Make sure that there is no way he can slash your grade based on design flaws. Give him something that—from a purely technical point of view—falls under the category of “aesthetically pleasing” and only include the most basic personal information you feel comfortable sharing. Don’t compromise yourself (only you know what that would look like). 

You could even make up an entirely fictional story and call it personal details from your life—that is what I would do, actually. How is he going to know? Let him believe what he wants to believe—he already believes that it’s acceptable for him to assume that everyone is just like him: totally free to share private details about their lives without any consequences, and grade them based on that presumed freedom.

If you don’t feel comfortable calling your teacher out privately or publicly, don’t. Do what make sense for you. Only you can make that call. Do what you need to do to feel safe.

After you turn in that “made in the belly of white privilege” fake zine and you get the A, you should feel free - if you want - to forget you ever made that zine. That wasn’t your first zine. That was the convoluted outcome of a teacher out of touch with his privilege. A zine is not materiality forced out of you by a white male instructor. 

A zine is an extension of yourself. You define that, not him or anyone else.

You don’t have to hate the zine you made for class—you may even end up enjoying the process and the final product. You may decide that this zine does in fact reflect who you are, but don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself if you can’t make up your mind about it immediately.

Take what you can from the experience of what it’s like to make a zine for a class requirement, but don’t feel bad if you don’t like the zine either, or still feel anxiety when it’s done. What you are experiencing is the totally normal cognitive dissonance one feels when someone tries to quantify the value of your inner world through forcing you to make a perzine and then grading it.

Don’t let this experience of making a zine turn you off from the medium itself, or the practice. Imagine what your first zine experience would have been like if you had been sitting at a bus stop, and next to you was a small little photocopied, stapled book, and inside were hand-drawn comics, copies of photos, and personal stories that made you laugh, cry and think. You suddenly found yourself caring for someone you never met — all because you found their zine.

You took the zine home and placed it on a shelf in your room for safekeeping, and that night you dreamt about the zine YOU would make that weekend at home — the one that someone else might discover one day.

If you decide to refuse to make this zine and take your concerns to the administration, or to make it anyway—I support your choice. But don’t let white male privilege in the classroom damage your perception of zine-making or zine culture. It does belong to you, and you get to define what that means for you—not him.”

Educators: Be in tune with what motivates you to introduce zine-making into your lesson plan. Ask yourself these questions:

1) Why do I care about introducing zine-making and zine culture to my students? What relevant information should I be sharing with them about zine culture and history — and how do my own privileges inform how I prioritize this information?

2) Does it make sense for me to only talk about zines made by white people to a classroom full of primarily students of color?

3) Is it really necessary for me to grade the zines—can they simply get a pass or fail based on completing the assignment?

4) What am I leaving out of my retelling of zine history that is silencing and oppressive to my students of color? 

5) If I don’t have much information about zines by people of color, what steps will I take to educate myself BEFORE introducing zines to my students?

COMMUNITY: If you are an educator or youth workshop facilitator who uses zines in the classroom, send us your experiences to poczineproject@gmail.com with “zine teacher” as the subject line. We want to share a wide range of voices on this topic. Also, feel free to leave your comments in a reblog.

Want more? Read POCZP Midwest Coordinator Joyce’s recap of her zine-making experience with an all Native girl scout troop.

_____________________

“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.

_____________________

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

MEET POCZP’s FIRST EAST COAST INTERN: Cata!
Part of POC Zine Project’s advocacy is empowering new and seasoned zinesters of color in the U.S. (and soon worldwide) to share their stories while supporting other POC. Cata is the first East Coast Intern for POCZP—we are excited to share developments as this part of our experiment in activism and community through materiality unfolds. 
CATA, IN HER OWN WORDS
Cata is a mixed race two-spirit/many spirit writer/yogi/graphic novel reader/zine lover in Washington, D.C. originally from the LBC (Long Beach, CA). She teaches swimming to youngsters, yoga to queers in DC.  When she&#8217;s not doing that she is organizing in her community or reading and writing about graphic novels in her blog and tumblr. You can find her here: 
http://agraphiclens.wordpress.com/
http://uchueca.tumblr.com/
She also writes mini plays for youth and adults, but you won&#8217;t find those on the internet—you have to come out and experience one for yourself! 
Here&#8217;s what Cata had to say about POC Zine Project and why it&#8217;s important to her:

POCZP provides a space for zinesters of color to find one another and one another&#8217;s media. This exchange is also documentation. Documenting/archiving the history of POC communities is necessary, beautiful and will give fruit to even more magical and creative future generations. This is a community engine! I am honored to offer my contributions here.

Some mediums that have grown her love fierce are: The Queer God by Marcella Althaus-Reid, Don&#8217;t Leave Your Friends Behind- by Victoria Law and China Martens, the rhythms of Chavela Vargas, the art of Laya Monarez and the story telling abilities of James Baldwin, Gloria Anzaldúa, Craig Thompson, Zora Neale Hurston, Marjane Satrapi, Little Crow and the elders in her world.
She is constantly working to live whole in a conflicted world and love well the complicated people in the world. Keep on, move strong and hustle till it&#8217;s done.
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing will change if it is not faced" - James Baldwin
If you missed it, here are some poc zine reviews Cata did for POCZP a while back.
———
DO YOU WANT TO SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT?
We are looking for representatives in every state, as well as regional  support, as we build toward the National POC Zinester &amp; Ally Conference/Convergence. Ideally you have some experience with organizing events and building community, but experience is not required. All are welcome. Priority will be given to people of color who apply but allies are definitely welcome.
Contact poczineproject@gmail.com for more details with “regional coordinator and internship info” as the subject line.
If you are outside the U.S. and want to be a part of our emerging POCZP Global Ambassadors program, email poczineproject@gmail.com as well to stay informed as opportunities arise.
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

MEET POCZP’s FIRST EAST COAST INTERN: Cata!

Part of POC Zine Project’s advocacy is empowering new and seasoned zinesters of color in the U.S. (and soon worldwide) to share their stories while supporting other POC. Cata is the first East Coast Intern for POCZP—we are excited to share developments as this part of our experiment in activism and community through materiality unfolds. 

CATA, IN HER OWN WORDS

Cata is a mixed race two-spirit/many spirit writer/yogi/graphic novel reader/zine lover in Washington, D.C. originally from the LBC (Long Beach, CA). She teaches swimming to youngsters, yoga to queers in DC.  When she’s not doing that she is organizing in her community or reading and writing about graphic novels in her blog and tumblr. You can find her here: 

http://agraphiclens.wordpress.com/

http://uchueca.tumblr.com/

She also writes mini plays for youth and adults, but you won’t find those on the internet—you have to come out and experience one for yourself! 

Here’s what Cata had to say about POC Zine Project and why it’s important to her:

POCZP provides a space for zinesters of color to find one another and one another’s media. This exchange is also documentation. Documenting/archiving the history of POC communities is necessary, beautiful and will give fruit to even more magical and creative future generations. This is a community engine! I am honored to offer my contributions here.

Some mediums that have grown her love fierce are: The Queer God by Marcella Althaus-Reid, Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind- by Victoria Law and China Martens, the rhythms of Chavela Vargas, the art of Laya Monarez and the story telling abilities of James Baldwin, Gloria Anzaldúa, Craig Thompson, Zora Neale Hurston, Marjane SatrapiLittle Crow and the elders in her world.

She is constantly working to live whole in a conflicted world and love well the complicated people in the world. Keep on, move strong and hustle till it’s done.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing will change if it is not faced" - James Baldwin

If you missed it, here are some poc zine reviews Cata did for POCZP a while back.

———

DO YOU WANT TO SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT?

We are looking for representatives in every state, as well as regional  support, as we build toward the National POC Zinester & Ally Conference/Convergence. Ideally you have some experience with organizing events and building community, but experience is not required. All are welcome. Priority will be given to people of color who apply but allies are definitely welcome.

Contact poczineproject@gmail.com for more details with “regional coordinator and internship info” as the subject line.

If you are outside the U.S. and want to be a part of our emerging POCZP Global Ambassadors program, email poczineproject@gmail.com as well to stay informed as opportunities arise.

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

Meet POCZP&#8217;s Midwest Coordinator Joyce Hatton!
Part of POC Zine Project&#8217;s advocacy is empowering new and seasoned zinesters of color in the U.S. (and soon worldwide) to share their stories while supporting other POC. Joyce is the first regional coordinator for POCZP and we are excited to share developments as this part of our experiment in activism and community through materiality unfolds. 
JOYCE, IN HER OWN WORDS
I was raised in South Dakota.  Being a black person raised in South Dakota is a big old can of worms.  I currently live in Moorhead, MN, border city of the better known Fargo, ND.  I lived in Philadelphia for a bit, but then the drugs got the better of me, also the fact that I didn&#8217;t get every job I applied for (the low unemployment rates of the Dakotas spoiled her) so I returned to Moorhead.  I spent time on an organic vegetable farm in California until I got cancer and returned to Moorhead.Cancer did what my ongoing mental health issues couldn&#8217;t do: it forced me to get sober and confront the trauma in my life, some of which began with being raised black in South Dakota.  Growing up as a black, non-heteronormative, radical female in small town South Dakota, I experienced some difficulties.  In addition to the overt racism, many of my (almost exclusively white) friends said and did racist things out of ignorance.  I had no idea how to handle it.  Since my mother grew up in Jim Crow-era South her advice was for me to keep my mouth shut.  For her, that was the way to stay safe.  On top of that, my family wasn&#8217;t a very safe space because they let me know there would be hell to pay if I wasn&#8217;t straight.  And I constantly argued with my mother about feminism and other ideas that I felt defined who I was.Last fall I was fairly distraught.  For various reasons I felt disillusioned and aimless. I ended up in the psych hospital, and while I was there I made a zine. It felt so self-validating, empowering, and uplifting. Shortly after making it, I discovered POCZP.  It kept me interested in zines because I found so many connections that validated what I was experiencing, and helped me learn about myself, and ideas I cared about.  I felt like I was part of a community, and I felt re-radicalized.   My goals for working with POCZP are to:
1) to build community in Fargo-Moorhead, share POC zines, and create safe spaces for POC and allies to have an honest, open sharing of ideas and experiences.
2) find ways effectively and easily share the POCZP&#8217;s mission and zine making with physically, emotionally, or ideologically isolated POC in rural areas and small towns in the Midwest.
CONNECT WITH JOYCE: 
http://airhornoftruthandlove.tumblr.com
https://www.facebook.com/TransformingMyMouthIntoAStrident
&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;
COMMUNITY: Join us in welcoming Joyce. We are excited to support zine culture and POC storytelling in the Midwest! Although our 2013 Race Riot! tour does not have a tour date in this region, our National POC Zinester &amp; Ally Conference/Convergence will be held in the Midwest. Stay tuned for details &#8230;
DO YOU WANT TO BE A COORDINATOR LIKE JOYCE?
If you are in the Midwest and want to support POCZP with Joyce, let us know! We are also looking for representatives in every state, as well as regional  support, as we build toward the National POC Zinester &amp; Ally Conference/Convergence. Ideally you have some experience with organizing events and building community, but experience is not required. All are welcome. Priority will be given to people of color who apply but allies are definitely welcome.
Contact poczineproject@gmail.com for more details with &#8220;regional coordinator&#8221; as the subject line.
If you are outside the U.S. and want to be a part of our emerging POCZP Global Ambassadors program, email poczineproject@gmail.com as well to stay informed as opportunities arise.
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

Meet POCZP’s Midwest Coordinator Joyce Hatton!

Part of POC Zine Project’s advocacy is empowering new and seasoned zinesters of color in the U.S. (and soon worldwide) to share their stories while supporting other POC. Joyce is the first regional coordinator for POCZP and we are excited to share developments as this part of our experiment in activism and community through materiality unfolds. 

JOYCE, IN HER OWN WORDS

I was raised in South Dakota.  Being a black person raised in South Dakota is a big old can of worms.  

I currently live in Moorhead, MN, border city of the better known Fargo, ND.  I lived in Philadelphia for a bit, but then the drugs got the better of me, also the fact that I didn’t get every job I applied for (the low unemployment rates of the Dakotas spoiled her) so I returned to Moorhead.  I spent time on an organic vegetable farm in California until I got cancer and returned to Moorhead.

Cancer did what my ongoing mental health issues couldn’t do: it forced me to get sober and confront the trauma in my life, some of which began with being raised black in South Dakota.  

Growing up as a black, non-heteronormative, radical female in small town South Dakota, I experienced some difficulties.  In addition to the overt racism, many of my (almost exclusively white) friends said and did racist things out of ignorance.  I had no idea how to handle it.  Since my mother grew up in Jim Crow-era South her advice was for me to keep my mouth shut.  For her, that was the way to stay safe.  On top of that, my family wasn’t a very safe space because they let me know there would be hell to pay if I wasn’t straight.  And I constantly argued with my mother about feminism and other ideas that I felt defined who I was.

Last fall I was fairly distraught.  For various reasons I felt disillusioned and aimless. I ended up in the psych hospital, and while I was there I made a zine. It felt so self-validating, empowering, and uplifting. Shortly after making it, I discovered POCZP.  It kept me interested in zines because I found so many connections that validated what I was experiencing, and helped me learn about myself, and ideas I cared about.  I felt like I was part of a community, and I felt re-radicalized.  
 
My goals for working with POCZP are to:

1) to build community in Fargo-Moorhead, share POC zines, and create safe spaces for POC and allies to have an honest, open sharing of ideas and experiences.

2) find ways effectively and easily share the POCZP’s mission and zine making with physically, emotionally, or ideologically isolated POC in rural areas and small towns in the Midwest.

CONNECT WITH JOYCE: 

http://airhornoftruthandlove.tumblr.com

https://www.facebook.com/TransformingMyMouthIntoAStrident

———

COMMUNITY: Join us in welcoming Joyce. We are excited to support zine culture and POC storytelling in the Midwest! Although our 2013 Race Riot! tour does not have a tour date in this region, our National POC Zinester & Ally Conference/Convergence will be held in the Midwest. Stay tuned for details …

DO YOU WANT TO BE A COORDINATOR LIKE JOYCE?

If you are in the Midwest and want to support POCZP with Joyce, let us know! We are also looking for representatives in every state, as well as regional  support, as we build toward the National POC Zinester & Ally Conference/Convergence. Ideally you have some experience with organizing events and building community, but experience is not required. All are welcome. Priority will be given to people of color who apply but allies are definitely welcome.

Contact poczineproject@gmail.com for more details with “regional coordinator” as the subject line.

If you are outside the U.S. and want to be a part of our emerging POCZP Global Ambassadors program, email poczineproject@gmail.com as well to stay informed as opportunities arise.

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

Meet POCZP’s Chief Fanalyst for the Legacy Series: Julia B. aka Ju!

Julia B., or Ju: First Official Fanalyst to participate in the POC Zine Project's Legacy Series

NAME: Julia B. (also goes by Ju)

ROLE: Chief Fanalyst for POC Zine Project’s Legacy Series

REGION: East Coast (Brooklyn), USA

COMMUNITY: Ju has been a POCZP member since the beginning. You’ll be seeing more of their contributions manifest on this Tumblr and in other digital and physical spaces very soon …. <3

IN JU’S OWN WORDS

Hi there. I’m Julia B., or Ju (if we’re being informal, which suits me fine), and I’m the first Official (and Chief) Fanalyst to participate in the POC Zine Project’s Legacy Series!

I’m very excited to be part of this series, and I’m looking forward to sharing more about the first Legacy Series selection: Fire!!: A Quarterly Devoted to the Younger Negro Artists, published in 1926. I should probably begin by explaining what my role will be.

fan: As in, amateur. I’m not a professional historian, just an enthusiastic history lover with library access. Whether it’s sci-fi fans swapping self-written stories through the mail, or specialized distros offering up all manner of self-published work at concerts, zine readings and the like, zine culture has consistently been defined by its place outside of the traditional publishing world. Keeping that in mind, the folks writing this series are taking part because we genuinely love the works we’re talking about, and want to share those works as laypeople in an accessible way.

analyst: I’ll be doing a close read and giving background details about the magazine, page by page. Sort of like “Pop-Up Video” but in written form.

Graphic for Ju's Chief Fanalyst bio In lieu of elaborate on-location choreography, I’ll be taking you further into not only the text of Fire!!, but also the world in which it was published—from the author’s contemporaries to the neighborhood in which their office was situated, and more. Ideally, by the time you’re done checking out what I’ve got for you, you’ll have music to listen to, visual artists to check out, books you’ll want to look for. Like I said, I’m enthusiastic about history, and my goal is to make sure that you’re just as thrilled about learning more as I was doing the research.

So why exactly am I so thrilled to be working on Fire!! in particular? Well, as a literature fan, I’ve loved Zora Neale Hurston’s, Langston Hughes’, and Countee Cullen’s writing for years. For many, those names might be the most familiar in the list of contributors to Fire!!, and I’m sure a lot of you out there are already fans of their work. But what of the other contributors alluded to in the “younger negro artists” of the magazine’s title? I see this as a chance for those who are more familiar with the writers in this publication to learn more about the visual artists who contributed, and vice versa, while I take a look at the perspectives that link them all together.

I’m also excited because Fire!! was controversial in its time. The contributors were not interested in perpetuating the politics of respectability. They did not create the magazine to keep in step with the artists of generations before them. In short, they were uncomfortable because they refused to conform to more (Black middle-class) palatable sensibilities.

I mean, check out some of the stuff people were saying when this little magazine out of Harlem made its way into print:

Rean Graves of the Baltimore Afro-American [newspaper] was incensed by the magazine and wrote in his review, “I have just tossed the first issue of Fire!! into the fire.” Benjamin Brawley went so far as to say that if the U.S. Post Office found out about Thurman’s “Cordelia the Crude,” the magazine might be barred from the mail.[1]

Pretty strong reactions to a fledgling publication! The contributors wrote about touchy subjects such as colorism among Black Americans and prostitution. They made deliberate use of Black American vernacular, in an effort to make the voices of their works ring true to the people they represented. And pissed off a bunch of uptight people in the process, even though only one issue of Fire!! was ever published. It’s easy to think of “cutting edge” in the present tense, but in exploring the magazine, we get the chance to check out what the Black American nonconformists of 1926 had to say, and what value those messages hold for us in the present day.

Anyway, enough out of me! I’m looking forward to talking with you further… hopefully we can start a cool conversation (or several) about this classic work. Stay tuned!

[1]: Patton, Venetria K., and Maureen Honey. “The Harlem Renaissance.” Oxford African American Studies Center: Guest Scholars. Oxford University Press. Web. <http://www.oxfordaasc.com/public/featureded/guest_5.jsp>

DO YOU WANT TO BE A FANALYST FOR THE LEGACY SERIES?

The only criteria is that you have to be a person of color! Submit here and tell us a little about yourself. Please include links to some writing samples. Good luck!

White allies: There are other ways for you to support the Legacy Series. Please email daniela@dcapmedia.com for details.

ABOUT THE LEGACY SERIES

Kicking off with FIRE!!, POC Zine Project will make zines by people of color created from the 1700s-1990s available to read and share.

Every Friday (Editor’s note: date pushed to February), you will find a legacy zine by a person of color on poczineproject.tumblr.com. We will share more details in 2013.

WHY WE ARE FOCUSING ON LEGACY ZINES

People of color in the U.S. have produced independent publications (zines) for decades. Many of these zines were political in nature, creating cracks in the lens of white supremacy that shaped (and continues to inform) popular culture and legislation.

These zines were new maps to our liberation, countering the negative propaganda of what people of color looked like, thought and were capable of achieving.

We want the world to know about these legacy zines, so we are going to archive and share them to the best of our ability.

We look forward to partnering with distros, academic spaces, libraries, anti-authoritarian collectives, literary journals, bloggers and more to share the Legacy Series.

“NEW” ZINESTERS: We will still share information about new and upcoming zines by people of color :) Please continue to submit your zines to the archive.

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.

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

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