"I think that in order to struggle you have to be creative. In my life, creativity has been something that has sustained me; it awoke my spiritual struggle." - Assata Shakur : : : "On Struggling" is a collective zine project by people of color with the intent of sharing personal narratives of struggle with culture, identity, white supremacy, mental health in our communities, modes of self-care and more.

chicago zine fest recap

The amount of love, support, and mad props we got this weekend was slightly overwhelming in the most positive way!

The Exhibitor Reading event was awesome, and we were blown away by all of the cool, different styles and stories that our fellow zinesters brought to the table! New zinester Oz (or Aus) from Toronto read from his new minizine Avalanche, where he hilariously comments on the classist/racist nature of apocalyptic survival writing, and Suzy X made us all laugh our asses off at the end as she read from her Chronicles of a Mallgoth (can’t express how ecstatic I am that this is a blog). We ended up reading some of our stories from the Identity zine, piecing it all together with a few new lines and some choreographed speaking-in-unison parts just hours before the event and boom, who knew we could be a performance troupe? :p Anyone have any video or photos from this event? 

We ended up selling out of the close to 90 zines we brought with us (approx. 30 of issue #1 and 60 of issue #2), closing up shop about an hour before the fest was even over. We connected with tons of badass QPOC from Toronto, New Brunswick, L.A., Brooklyn and other random ass cities, and are getting ready to send out mad zines to various distros across the country. 


It was honestly a little weird/hard to process random white folks approaching some of us and just saying thank you and walking away (hmm..you’re welcome?), but it was also incredibly moving to have random people of color coming up to us and just diving into how much they could relate to our stories and how they’re inspired to finally tell their own. The amount of visible POC zinesters is rapidly increasing and that makes us super fuzzy all over! 


The fest was filled with so much creativity and beauty that it was hard to take it all in/visit all the tables, and almost made me wish the actual fest was two days instead of just one. :) Some zines that stood out and that I can’t wait to read include Open Pit, Open Dialogue by Savuri Gomez (No Shame distro), Todo Sobre Mi Madre by Rachel Casiano Hernandez, Chronic: a story about chronic illness by Sam Green-eggs, Cocoa & Shea by Kyla Somerville, and so many more!


I guess next on our agenda is thinking about issue #3, figuring out an easy way for folks to buy our zines online, and connecting with more of you fine azz POC folk who be hiding all over the place!

Special thanks to CZF organizers! Ya’ll rocked it! 

  • 12 March 2013
  • 15