Anarchy- Love it or leave it
Hi! I'm a qwoc looking to start my own zine, but my zine most likely won't focus mainly on any issues pertaining to that. Would it still qualify here?


Hi there,

Thanks for your message. My opinion is that you should make a zine about whatever you want. If you don’t want this zine to be about QWOC issues, then write about whatever you’re interested in sharing through the zine medium. 

One of the great things about making a zine is that you have total control over your own voice, message and design/layout. You can look to sources of inspiration like other zines to inform your approach, or you can do it without factoring in anything other than your own imagination (although knowing how to format and assemble a zine certainly helps - there are plenty of tutorials online!).

In terms of you submitting this question to POCZP, I wanted to clear something up (and hope you don’t mind me utilizing your question as the basis for this statement):

POCZP doesn’t exist to police/control zine culture, especially zines created by POC. We don’t value one type of zine created by POC over the next (although many of the zines we have featured do focus on race, gender, immigration, etc.). There are zines covering a wide range of topics in our physical archive and in our digital collection.

There are many QWOC who make zines about what it means to be a QPOC/QTPOC, as well as QTPOC who don’t make zines that focus on that. You are free to make zines about anything, and as long as you aren’t speaking for others/an experience that isn’t yours, there shouldn’t be any problems.

I will clarify that statement by saying that something like a fanzine that celebrates people, places or things are rad. Writing ABOUT others can be done in a way that isn’t exploitative, but you should always try to get permission from the person if they are alive and not a public figure before you do that (not always possible, but it’s good to at least try).

Something like someone writing about black identity/what it “means” to be black who isn’t black, for example, would be problematic. Get what I’m saying? Just use your best judgement and if you have any questions or concerns, I’m happy to share what I know:

And don’t worry about what POCZP thinks about your zine or if we would feature it or not. As a grassroots entity with a rotating cast of volunteers, we do our best to feature ALL the zines people submit. We have a long que, which is a great problem to have! Right now I’m the only one reviewing submissions. We do the best we can with the available time that we have.

To be extra clear: there is no such thing as parameters to “qualify” to be featured on POCZP, other than that it’s a zine made by a person of color. That’s it! <3 

Also, although POCZP does function as a curating mechanism, we don’t exist to make zine celebrities or to elevate one zine over the next. Even if it took months for us to feature your zine (please submit it when you’re done! <3 We’d love to feature it), POCZP’s recognition doesn’t mean anything. We exist to share materiality created by POC and to connect people to resources.

POCZP does have cultural relevancy and social capital within overlapping networks, but that doesn’t mean we are an “authority” or that our opinion should be valued over the next person’s or group’s. We are here to serve.

You creating your own art/materiality is what matters. You feeling good about creating is what matters.

Without people like you having the courage to tell your own stories and share your words, photos, art and more, there would be no reason for POCZP to exist in the first place. So, thank you.


Daniela Capistrano

Founder, POCZP



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