Zines emerged as quintessentially print texts, with paper forming the vulnerable, palpable body of the text. Efforts to digitally archive zines promise to increase access to them and to extend their political projects. Particularly for minoritarian communities, digitization resonates as an urgent process with radical potential. Alongside such possibilities stand concerns about what it means and, particularly, how it feels to transform zines from paper to digital modes. Through engagement with the Queer Zine Archive Project and the POC (People of Color) Zine Project, we argue that transmediation of print zines into digital artifacts is rife with affective dynamics. In relation to these affective dynamics, we take a reflexive stance of ambivalence—not indifference, but rather a strongly felt set of disparate, sometimes dissonant or contradictory pulls toward and away from digitization. We offer the concept of trans(affective)mediation as an intervention that treats print zines and digital zines as distinct and distinctly affective domains, with distinct possibilities and constraints, coherences and incoherences, and intensities. Additionally, trans(affective)mediation names the third space between print and digital that calls for our care and understanding if we are to appreciate and even participate in the politics of queer, POC, and queer POC zine cultures.
- people of color
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