Craftivism: “a way of looking at life where voicing your opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper” – Betsy Greer.
I became aware of the Craftivist Collective over a year ago, but it wasn’t until last summer when I watched Sarah Corbett share her story that I began to understand the power of this kind of slow activism. Sarah talks about how as a worn out activist, she discovered the power of pairing her enjoyment of craft with her passion to see the world changed for the better. This change in her personal approach has grown into the Craftivist Collective, with people across the world taking part in craftivist projects, sometimes on their own, sometimes in groups, but always in solidarity with the movement.
It took me two months from buying the ‘A little book of craftivism’ to sitting down with a hot beverage and half an hour to delve into it. The book is pocket-sized (well, maybe winter coat pockets) inspiration and empowerment. It shouldn’t have taken so long to find the time. I felt like a case study for the type of person who needs this book – too busy doing to take a moment to slow down and reflect.
The book seeks to empower lifelong activism, through weaving something of Sarah’s own story in with practical tips on how to sew craftivist messages and share them with your desired audience. It was heartening to see images of craftivists’ work, a visual reminder that by becoming a craftivist – on your own or in the company of others – you are joining in solidarity with passionate, dedicated, creative people across the world.Repetition is critical to craftivism; undertaking crafts such as cross stitch which require a repetitive action to build up the final handmade protest banner, post-it, handkerchief for your MP… In a world where we have 140-character attention spans, advocating the power of repetition feels a refreshing and healthy reminder that it can be good to give time to something. Something that may even be imperfect in its handcrafted stitches, but is personal, timeless, filled with the passionate belief of the crafter, and hopefully gently challenging and encouraging the reader to action.
No longer worn out, Sarah is now a “thriving activist, literally threading activism through everything I do”. We can’t escape the fact that our lives impact the people and environment around us, locally and globally. We also can’t solve all the problems ourselves. We can, however, recognise that sustainability is not just a job or a hobby; it should be threaded through our whole lives, impacting the decisions we make, how we spend our money and our time, and our activism itself needs to be sustained for the long-term.
As Sarah so beautifully puts it, “You’re not the full answer… but you are part of the solution”.I’ve read the book. Now to become a craftivist! I’ll be starting with the Craftivist Footprint Kit, looking at encapsulating something of the impact we have through our lives. Hopefully you won’t be reading about me finally finding time for it in two months time.
Today’s Soundtrack: Jamie Cullum // Catching Tales