Zines: an inside look

Moorhead-resident recently named the Midwest POC Zine Project Coordinator

By Diane Miller

Sometimes, the most seemingly insignificant actions we take can make the most tremendous differences. For Moorhead resident Joyce Hatton, it was writing and sharing her first zine.

Zines are self-published, do-it-yourself booklets, that can be anything people want them to be: a series of poems, stories, random thoughts, drawings, etc. But perhaps if there were an unwritten zine rule, it would be: Express yourself as openly and as freely as possible; be who you are.

As a black girl who grew up in South Dakota, Hatton spent a good portion of her life feeling like she didn’t fit in. Even moving to Philadelphia, a predominantly black city, proved to be difficult because people questioned her “blackness.”

Then Hatton found zines. As she started reading them and making her own—and then connecting with others through this process—she began to realize a change in her well-being.

“The first zine that I wrote was about my struggle with my mental-health issues. At first I thought, ‘Whoa, this is kind of scary,’” Hatton said. “But I put it out there and I distributed it among my friends here and online and I got a lot of positive feedback so it was really validating.”

Hatton said zines have a tremendous potential for community and self-esteem building because they allow people to openly share their art, struggles, interests and opinions in an absolutely encouraging and welcoming environment.

So now Hatton is on a mission to get more people to discover the power of zines. Just last month, Hatton was named Midwest coordinator of The POC Zine Project, a nationwide organization dedicated to making zines by people of color easy to find and enjoy.

“Joyce embodies somebody with a lot of strength and a lot of courage. And frankly, she’s also somebody who’s in a position to do a lot of good where she is at,” said Daniela Capistrano, POC Zine Project’s executive director/founder.

As the Midwest coordinator, Hatton has and will be holding zine workshops around the Fargo-Moorhead area, including one about pocket zines, held on April 27 at the downtown Fargo Public Library and a “craft and chat” on April 28 at the downtown Atomic Coffee community room.

Capistrano, who lives in the Bronx, said the POC Zine Project will even be traveling to the Midwest to host a zine event in October because of Hatton.

“I’m not from the Midwest and I’m not going to pretend like I know exactly what is going on and that’s why Joyce is critical to what we are trying to do because she is someone who can speak from her experience and also connect us to other people from there including white allies,” Capistrano said.

Hatton’s biggest aspiration is to start a Fargo-Moorhead Zine Fest. The first one is expected to occur in August. A location has already been set, now it’s just a matter of figuring out the date and the event details.

The ultimate goal of both the FM Zine Fest and the POC Zine Project is to create a safe space for people of all backgrounds to feel comfortable. Zines are just the medium.

“It’s about helping people find the courage in themselves to share their own stories,” Capistrano said. “And through that process, creating a praxis for themselves to transform their lives ... which we all know when you start to transform yourself, you end up affecting all the people around you in many different ways.”

To learn more, visit http://fargomoorheadzinefest.tumblr.com/

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WHAT: All About Pocket Zines
WHEN: Sat, April 27, 2-4 p.m.
WHERE: Fargo Public Library, 102 3rd St N

WHAT: Zine Craft & Chat
WHERE: Sun, April 28, 5-9 p.m.
WHEN: Atomic Coffee, 222 Broadway
INFO: free coffee and tea

Posted 1 year, 4 months ago by Diane Miller | Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | View Diane Miller's profile.

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