POC Zine Project founder Daniela Capistrano met Nia in person - for the first time - on November 9, while working in San Francisco. It was fortuitous, because just a week or two prior, Daniela ordered Nia’s back catalogue of zines for the POC Zine Project archive directly from Nia.
Nia and Daniela had a great conversation about the historical context of zines by POC, the role of POC Zine Project and materiality as a catalyst for activism and building community. Some of this discussion will appear in an interview for Colorlines.com in the coming weeks.
Here are excepts from the letter that Nia mailed Daniela with the zine order:
…I just wanted to say that I really respect the work you are doing, and I wish there had been a resource like POC Zine Project when I was a young zinester.
We <3 you, Nia! Thanks for everything that you do. We look forward to collaborating with you on the 2013 Southwest/West Coast Race Riot! Tour!
Nia King is a mixed-race artist, activist, writer, and filmmaker from Boston, MA who is proud to call Oakland home. She currently writes for Colorlines.com, a national racial justice news website.
Before joining Colorlines, Nia worked to improve the quality of life of queer and transgender students of color at Mills College by organizing a number of educational, political, and social events for the campus community.
Before moving to Oakland, Nia served as a Grassroots Fundraising Specialist and Crisis Hotline Volunteer at the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, a nonprofit which works to end violence within and against Colorado’s LGBTQ communities.
In addition to her nonprofit work, Nia has spend the last five years self-publishing, presenting at conferences, and screening her film, “The Craigslist Chronicles.” Her writing has been published in Zine Yearbook 9, Race Revolt Magazine, and the book Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric. More of her writing is soon to be published in Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory.
Nia has presented her undergraduate research project, “Mangos with Chili: Life-Sustaining Performance Art for and by Queer and Transgender People of Color,” at Stanford University, UC Riverside, and the University of Arizona. Her most recent project, a short comedic film about apartment hunting in Oakland, premiered at the 2012 National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, and recently had its international premiere at the Trans Film Screening Series at the University of Toronto’s Center for Women & Trans People.
You can contact Nia directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMUNITY: You can access many of Nia’s zines for free on QZAP.org, as well as order them from Stranger Danger Distro. Here’s a taste:
“Nia (Angry Black-White Girl and Borderlands) comes forward to declare her status as an ex-punk. She criticizes anarcho-punk and many activist scenes for its ignorance and the lack of inclusion of folks of color, women and queers. Nia refuses to leave a part of herself at the door in order to adjust to the whiteness and maleness of a musical scene that she once truly enjoyed. The zine also includes a pull-out portion in which you can take along to your next show in order to challenge yourself, your friends and other bystanders.” - quoted from StrangerDangerDistro.com
A little while ago, I was “spotlighted” by the POC Zine project. I used to be a prolific zinester, back when I had a lot to process about growing up mixed and being perceived as “ethnically ambiguous” in the world. Lately, I’ve turned to comics and film to talk about my experience as a mixed race queer woman of color with a transgender partner, but the zines are still available. you can learn more about them here.