Have You Heard of Craftivism?

CraftivismIf you haven’t, you should know it’s a world-wide movement. Craftivism opens up a conversation so people can learn from each other and exchange views.

When I attended Salon An Artful Conversation last year, I was delighted to hear Betsy Greer speak. Then my name was pulled out of a hat and I won a copy of her book, Craftivism The Art of Craft and Activism. Every chapter introduced inspiring crafts which gave me hope for a better society.

If someone is protesting with a sign, you might walk right past. But if you see a little crocheted animal with a message, you might stop and think about it. That’s Craftivism.

Visuals always help me understand better. The only example of Craftivism I have seen in person was the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which was quite large-scale. Nineteen years ago, it wasn’t called Craftivism.

The book introduced me to smaller-scale good deeds such as leaving a craft for a stranger to find thereby bringing them joy. Since reading the book, I’ve embraced mending clothes to help the environment by extending the use of the cloth and not requiring the purchase of new goods. A much more serious example of Craftivism occurred during the reign of Chilean dictator Pinochet. Women became arpilleristas creating brightly colored embroidered tapestries to document the disappearances of over 3,000 individuals and the unwarranted incarceration of over 28,000. To speak publicly would have brought imprisonment but the tapestries could keep a record while defying censorship.

Betsy includes either written submissions or interviews of over 35 people about their experiences which always leaves you uplifted and thinking about how you can make the world a better place with a craft.

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