This blog initially started out as a zine. A zine is a take on the word maga(zine) and is a form of self publishing/Do It Yourself (DIY) culture. In Portland, the zine community is popular. Unfortunately, it tends to be symbolic of the city (white folks), so it can be difficult for zinestors of color to find space, at times. A few years ago, I started workshops for women of color (WOC) who made zines, or wanted to learn more about zines. It turned out to be a pretty successful group. We hosted workshops for five years, becoming well-known in the city. During that time, I connected to brilliant WOC artists/writers. I have also built up a fabulous zine collection.
I’m always looking to add to my stash. So, I was tickled to receive the Contemporary Black Genius Coloring Book, from artist Tazha Williams. This book features beautifully drawn images of folks like Ms. Badu, Kap, and more!
I’d planned to take photos to share, but decided to make it more interesting. So, I created a short video. Then I thought it would be fun to add music. So, I dropped in a tune. Then I thought, some ambience. It started getting a little out of control. Luckily for y’all, I clicked off the editing tool 😉
If you are interested in starting your own collection of art/writings by DIY folks of color, Williams’s book is a great place to start!
I love interesting DIY (Do It Yourself) crowdfunding projects. I came across the Black Feminist Film School Fellowship Fund on Facebook. They are so close to their goal. Support if you can 🙂
“The answer, the vision, the liberation. Black Feminist Film School is an initiation journey that will transform all involved toward love and light. I invite you to join in and support in the ways that make sense for you….Black Feminist Film School Summer Session (bffs Summer Session) will take place June – August 2014. We will be focusing on building skill and practice as Black Feminist storytellers using the filmmaking medium and accompanying art forms. Within the three month session we will cover all phases of filmmaking including research and writing, pre-production, production and post-production.” http://www.alexispauline.com/apgblog/cause-view/support-the-black-feminist-film-school-fellowship-fund/
I have a lot of respect for Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs. She’s an amazing young artist/organizer/radical activist. She is also a fellow zinester. I have the SPEAK! CD that she and fellow women of color zinesters created a few years ago. It should be added to folks DIY collection. Check out this great interview with Dr. Gumbs:
I’m a zinester. What’s a zinester? It’s someone who makes zines. What’s a zine? Zine is a take on the word “magazine” it’s a form of DIY self-publishing. I live on the West Coast and zine culture is very popular here. Zines are typically done by younger folks. Those in their early 20’s. So, I’m a nontraditional zinester 🙂 However, all ages can make them. Zines tend to be typically made by marginalized groups whose voices are left out of mainstream media . These folks include: radical women of color, activists/feminists of color, LGBTQ folks of color, anarchists, prison abolitionists, sex workers, etc.
I became a zinester by accident. I needed to do a creative project for a class and a friend suggested I make a zine. I had never heard about zines before. I researched and liked the concept of it. I’ve been part of zine culture ever since. I host workshops for women of color zinesters/DIY publishers as we are still underrepresented in the NW. It’s definitely getting better, though 🙂
The People of Color Zine Project is a great resource if you want to learn more about the history/activism of people of color zinesters/DIY artists.
Check out this fun video on how to make a zine:
I hope you enjoyed this week on DIY projects! Have a great weekend 🙂