Though I've been blogging for a while in a variety of places for some reason I've been delaying getting going with the XD online version. Given the long weekend and the post piling up on my desk (virtual or no) I figured it was about time to jump in. I'm starting in the order I've received the work up for review and Nia King's Borderlands #2 (it's the second issue of a zine that was titled MXD: True Stories by Mixed Race Writers when issue #1 was published) has been patiently waiting since March. Like MXD, Borderlands is keyed to issues particular to mixed race writers (the full title is "Borderlands: Tales from Disputed Territories between Races and Cultures"), though it of course looks at how being mixed race impacts and interplays with other categories of identification as well; the framework and compilation style remains the same as MXD.
I've reviewed Nia's work before (you can find other titles at StrangerDangerDistro.com and QZAP.org, or contact her directly) and it's always a powerful experience for me to read what she writes. I have a soft spot for autobio work, and I'm interested in people who use that writing to create a space to resist dominant culture. She addresses some of these things in her introduction, stating that "this zine is a product of our struggle to move beyond the margins, the disputed borderland territory between races and cultures we were born into, and for the right to be validated, to forge community and to find home where ever we see fit."
What I particularly enjoy about this zine is its sense of multitudes; there are pieces by a number of different authors, all with their own experiences, looking at experiences as varied as how you're treated in school to how people talk to you when they assume they know your full identity just from the way you wear your hair, how your nose looks, or the words which come out of your mouth. It addresses queer culture, includes as many different perspectives as there are contributors, and each piece feels as honest and as immediate as if you were simply sitting down to have a conversation with the contributor. Ultimately, Borderlands #2 is an important, engaging read that's well worth your time; I've come to expect such things from Nia and I'm very glad to see another issue.
Borderlands #2 (formerly titled MXD)
AVAILABLE THROUGH STRANGER DANGER DISTRO:
Submissions are welcome at the email address above. "You are eligible to submit if you are a person of color who is mixed-race, bi-cultural, and/or transracially adopted. Please send your non-fiction personal stories and art about how your racial/cultural identity relates to your experiences (work, school, family, relationships, etc.) or other aspects of your identity (gender, sexual orientation, class, ability, immigration status, religion, etc.)." Due June 1st, 2008, no longer than 600 words, no poetry.
Who and What We Are
Xerography Debt is a review zine for zine readers by zine writers (and readers). It is a hybrid of review zine and personal zine (the ancestor to many blogs). The paper version has been around since 1999. This blog thing is are attempt to bridge the gap between Web 2.0 and Paper 1.0. Print is not dead, but it is becoming more pixelated.