Volume , Number 0
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New Energy Debates
20th Year of Z
Eleanor J. Bader
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NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
We’re Still Here
W hen Michael Albert and I left South End Press (after ten years) in 1988 to start Z Magazine (with $40,000), it didn’t occur to us that one day we’d be celebrating our 20th year of publication—or that South End Press would be celebrating its 30th.
In founding South End Press and Z, we tried to accomplish two main radical goals: (1) to raise consciousness primarily about the institutionalized oppressions of class, gender, race, and authoritarianism; (2) to provide information, analysis, and vision to help activist struggles for social change, including the building of decentralized democratic projects that would become the basis for a mass organization. In addition, we hoped through book publishing to preserve and extend the broad liberatory politics of the 1960s New Left and subsequent movements.
From Books to a Magazine
I n its 30 years South End Press has published hundreds of books on critical issues. It has provided a place for radical activists and educators to publish without fear of censorship. In the process, it established a model of a democratic workplace, implementing the values of equity, self-management, and solidarity.
But books often take years to write, edit, publish, promote, and try to get distributed through stores, course adoptions, etc. So Michael and I (at the time, the only remaining SEP co-founders) left to start Z Magazine in order to publish more timely information. Eventually, under the umbrella of Z Communications, we diversifed our media offerings and created Z Video Productions, ZNet, and Z Media Institute. These projects provided critical information and radical politics in varied formats and reached hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
During the 30 years we have been involved in media production, the technology has changed dramatically. We started with phototypesetters which ran out copy on film that often got lost in the developing process. We used light tables to meticulously lay in numerous corrections. This was followed by an interim process of preparing book pages on the computer and then sending them (using many complicated codes) to the typesetter. Then desktop publishing emerged, which allowed books, magazines, flyers, etc. to be produced and laid out on the computer (text and graphics) and emailed to the printer. This process made it possible to start Z with only two staff people.
During that time we’ve seen other changes in the world of alternative media. With the rise of the Internet, the increasing corporate monopoly over distribution through chain retailers, and the rising costs of advertising and solicitation mailings, many radical bookstores, publishers, and political magazines have folded, cut back production, or reverted to an online presence only.
In our case, we have lived through numerous financial crises making it all the more incredible to us that we’re still here. Though our ability to attract new readers to Z Magazine suffers in this environment, we are absolutely committed to producing the print version and finding creative ways to get it into more hands.
From Magazine to Website
H aving said that, it has become clear that, while still important, print media is no longer the primary source of information and inspiration for many leftists, especially those under 35. The Internet and its future interconnection with Cable/TV/Ipod technology is becoming the main information source of the future. This indicates to us that (1) Z needs to focus even more on its Internet presence; (2) all existing Z projects (and any new ones) need to have an Internet component.
This fall we decided to plan a massive upgrade of our popular website www.zmag.org. In the next few months we will be improving existing offerings and adding many new features. When things settle down we will not only have articles and information, but a host of interactive facilities, educational options, and multimedia.
Our goal is to continue to provide information and analysis that can help activists, teachers, and writers in their work for radical social change and that can cut through mainstream media lies and misinformation—while finally generating the sense of community we were after with the founding of Z Magazine 20 years ago.
W e’d like to thank the thousands of subscribers and other supporters whose generous contributions have helped Z live to see its 20th year of publication. Many of you have have supported us by responding to emergency pleas, by giving donations along with your subscriptions, by buying gifts for friends, prisoners, and libraries. Many others have provided invaluable support through Z’s Sustainer Program. Thousands of people are now making Sustainer donations to support the work of Z Communications, for which they receive a daily commentary and other special features. Part of our Internet upgrade will greatly expand this program as it has been essential to our survival.
We hope you’ll visit the site over the next few months as we implement our new features and consider signing up to help “sustain” Z for 20 more years.
Lydia Sargent is co-founder and 20year staff member of Z.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.