POC Zine Project at Allied Media Conference (Pt 3 of 3]: City Dreams Youth Zine Workshop
Allied Media Conference 2013 was from June 20 - 23, 2013. This is POCZP Midwest Coordinator Joyce Hatton’s recap from #AMC2013 on Sunday, June 23. Read the first and second installments by POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano.
[DESCRIPTION: City Dreams Youth Zine Workshop facilitators and attendees on June 23, 2013 during #AMC2013 in Detroit]
Words and photos by Joyce Hatton, POCZP Midwest Coordinator
The City Dreams Youth Zine Workshop took place Sunday, June 23rd, at the 15th Annual Allied Media Conference in Detroit, MI. The workshop facillitators were Becca Hayes from Michigan State University; Katie Violet Livingston and Casey Miles from Michigan State University and Queer Theory Playground, and Rachel Storm from Outta the Mouths of Babes Youth Radio Project, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, and myself. Another person who was going to co-facilitate decided not to, which none of us had a problem with since five of us was plenty.
Here is the description of the workshop:
Using guided collage-making, youth will envision their cities as dream-cities – full of art, culture, safe homes and strong communities. Youth participants will think through how they could improve their own communities as they create images of what they desire in their cities, neighborhoods, or homes. Collaged images will be assembled into a zine, “City Dreams!,” and copied for all youth participants and distributed in small circulation at the AMC conference.
We had a great time! Five kids attended and three adults. Of the eight, four had never heard of zines before, so there was a nice mix of teaching and sharing of experiences.
We talked about how zines can be a great way to share your art and writings, and also how collaborative zines are a great way to create community. That was a great lesson for me to learn, as I had never made a collaborative zine before.
Before: Prepping For The Workshop
Since we lived in three different cities, we used email to plan the workshop, and we met once we got to AMC to go over some details.
I brought pre-folded pocket zines and instructions on how to fold them- to show that there are different types of zines, and because pocket zines are totally awesome.
But the main reason I brought the pocket zines was to retain what I think is the most powerful moment in a zine workshop: That moment when a person realizes “I can use this to say anything I want… what do I want to say?”
When a zine workshop has a theme, it can take away from the feeling of empowerment, and can make zine-making feel like it’s not something a person can do on their own. I thought that spending a few minutes encouraging kids to make their own pocket zines later might increase the empowerment factor.
During: City Dreams Youth Zine Workshop
It was so much fun! We shared some information about zines, talked about healthy communities, what we liked about the cities that we lived in, and just chit-chatted in general while we worked.
[DESCRIPTION: Siuloong did an awesome four page spread for City Dreams zine about what makes great community]
I met some really cool people that day, but I really have a special place in my heart for Amarisa, who is maybe 9 or 10. She talked about how the police in her school make her feel unsafe.
[DESCRIPTION: Amarisa’s zine pages about police abusing power, part of the City Dreams zine made at #AMC2013]
I took the opportunity to validate her feelings, and said “That’s really crappy that you feel unsafe in school, and I want you to know that there are people who are working to get the police out of your school, and I hope they do it soon.” And she said “Yes, because that’s where I go to get my education, and I should feel comfortable there, so I can focus on learning!” It was such a rewarding experience for me.
The other kids who were there had made zines before, but Amarisa and her friend Angel had never heard of zines before. When I gave them the pocket zines, they were so excited that they had a medium that they could use to express themselves. I hope they do! Their voices matter!
[DESCRIPTION: City Dreams zines contributor Jamii did an illustration about backyard gardens: “Sankofa, valuing the earth.”]
I kept a close watch on time to have plenty of time for working on the zine, and so we would have enough time to share at the end of the session. Even so, everyone was working down to the last minute!
Our group was really creative. I let them know that it was OK if they took their zine pages home to finish them rather than have them be included in the zine, because it’s nice to have options. I think everyone submitted all their pages to the zine, though.
After: Lessons From The Workshop
I asked a participant if she identified as disabled, so I could make note in the zine, to give visibility to disabled and differently abled zinesters. As I asked her, I was reminded of my internalized ableism, and very quickly we realized we had a lot we wanted to talk about, so we went out for coffee and had an amazing conversation about a wide range of topics.
We had such a good conversation that I totally lost track of time and did not have time to go make copies of the zine for participants.
In hindsight I realized there wouldn’t have been enough time anyway. One of the areas we had really failed to plan out was how we planned to print out the zine. I was able to get everyone’s address, and once I got back I copied the zine and mailed them. Everyone got two color copies of the zine, and five black and white copies.
[DESCRIPTION: City Dreams zine]
I was glad I was able to present a workshop at my first AMC. It really contributed to my overall experience.
LOOKING FOR MORE?
- POC Zine Project’s workshop recap (with MOONROOT and Adela C. Licona) from the 2013 Allied Media Conference
- Zines in the classroom: Pros and Cons
- Pocket zine-making workshop with an all-Native Girl Scout Troop
- Oasis for Girls zine-making workshop
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