Check out this exquisite equation: craft + activism = craftivism.
Craftivism was born in the first few years of the 21st century, surfacing on the Internet in 2003, when the term was coined by Betsy Greer. It involves engaging creativity, especially regarding political or social causes, to help bring about positive change through personalized activism.
Projects that are defined as “craftivism” include things like teaching knitting lessons and crocheting hats for the less fortunate. Craftivism also serves as a way to combat mass production and capitalism, instead focusing on the communities in which we live, in a world that “grows increasingly large and unfamiliar.”
The Craftivist Collective was founded in 2009 after craft lovers around the world asked Sarah Corbett to join in her movement. Corbett “designed the campaign for people including burnt out activists to do ‘slow activism’ as well as offering a tool to marginalized communities to express their personal experiences of injustice through the power of craft.”
The Collective’s headlining project is currently the Jigsaw project, which urges the craft community to help create a “giant jigsaw embroidered with provocative messages to support Save the Children’s Race Against Hunger Campaign.” Other projects include placing Barbies around town with a placard including a provoking thought on gender inequality, hanging mini protest banners about global justice, and making cross-stitched masks containing information about sweatshop injustice to leave on statues and shop mannequins.
The craftivists are highly active on Twitter, careful to emphasize the fact that they are always open for collaboration, and that everyone is welcome in their community. Impressively, they’ve worked with creative institutions such as Tate, Hayward, British Library, and Toms Shoes. They sell do-it-yourself kits in their shop so that truly anyone can have an easy introduction to craftivism.
This amazing collective will be having a craftivism meetup near Union Square tomorrow, Saturday June 8th – everyone should go and make something, or just watch and be inspired! The location will be announced on their Twitter, so keep your eyes peeled.
Photos via Craftivist Collective and Google Images