Contact Us: craftivist[dot]collective[at]gmail DOT com
Set up in 2009 by Sarah Corbett who started off doing craftivism projects in 2008 under the name ‘A Lonely Craftivist’ as a reaction of feeling like a burnt-out activist, not feeling she fitted into many activism groups and wanting to do activism differently. People started commenting on her blog, contacting to her in person or on Facebook asking if they could join in so she decided to create the Craftivist Collective to cater to this demand. You can watch a 10 minute talk by Sarah here, a 20minute documentary here & read a short blog here
Our manifesto is: “To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions.”
We are seen as one of the leading groups in the craftivism movement. We encourage individuals and groups to deliver our projects wherever they are in the world and support them with kits, instruction videos, photographs of examples and personalised support when needed. We also sell products to help customers provoke and encourage conversations about global injustice issues without having to pick up a needle and stitch.
We have craftivists across the world (including LA, Vancouver, Melbourne, Berlin, Glasgow, Manchester, London) actively taking part in our craftivism projects and supporters including Josie Long, Rob Da Bank, Sam Roddick and Jon Ronson to name a few (bearing in mind we find it uncomfortable to actively promote our collective ourselves). We have featured in UK national and international press outlets and even been filmed for French TV Channel Canal+. We also set up events, workshops, exhibition and stunts. We have worked with the Tate Gallery, Hayward Gallery, British Museum, Sheffield DocFest, Ladyfest, Ink-d Gallery, comedian Josie Long, jewellers Tatty Devine amongst others. We are open to more collaborations and constantly thinking of innovative ways to reach out to new audiences (such as craftivist bootcamps, more kits ideas, Craftivists popping up in shops, public transport and cafes so you can find them and stitch with them….)
We want to show people that making people aware of the injustices and poverty in the world can be fun as well as empowering. It doesnt have to be stressful or elitest. Anyone can be a craftivist whatever their skill or understanding.
In the words of one of our craftivists Rosa Martyn: A spoonful of craft helps the activism go down
Our craftivism projects aim to challenge people’s views and reach out to those who may have not have previously accessed activism and groups for social change. You don’t have to be creative or an experienced campaigner. We also target media outlets that may not cover social justice issues but would cover craft, art, culture or fashion stories. Check out our Press page for more info.
We often display our finished products in public spaces to provoke passers by into thinking about the issue. But also, the act of creating a product – crafting something with a campaigning message – should provoke thought in the maker and observer. In addition, we encourage craftivists to send us examples of their craftivism and their thoughts for our blog.
Correct Definition of Craftivism
With the term ‘craftivism’ being used much more nowadays and sometimes used wrongly to label something such as upcycling, recycling or making crafts to raise money for charity, we decided to make it clear what we see as craftivism as well as tell you a bit more about who we are and what we do
Betsy Greer coined the term ‘Craftivism’ and defines it as:
“A way at looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper and your quest for justice more infinite.”
In a July 2010 interview with Betsy she wrote “I’m glad that Sarah [Craftivist Collective Founder] has really understood what I was trying to get at all those years ago. The heart of the idea is so important to me that it makes my day when someone else sees the same power in it that I do”
The quickest explanation of craftivism is “craft +activism = craftivism” but this can make it appear that the craft and activism are in equal parts, in reality, when the Craftivist Collective talks about craftivism, we’re normally talking about activism through craft or crafty activism – but craftivism sounds way better .
Craft is our method of campaigning but it is the political and social change that is the most important part. We enjoy craft and creating but we’re passionate about working towards a fairer society for all.
Services we can offer:
- Talks – presentations or part of a panel (by our Founder Sarah Corbett)
- Lecturers at University (by our Founder Sarah Corbett)
- Workshops (of our projects or bespoke projects)
- ‘happenings’ this can be participatory art installations in galleries, conferences and other spaces
- Creating bespoke projects for organisations that fit with our ethos.
- For more information please email craftivist [dot] collective [at] gmail [dot] com
Our Founder Sarah is going part time in her current job from January 2012 to have more time to give to the collective. However she isn’t superwoman and still needs lots of help. If you can help with any of the below please contact her at craftivistDOTcollectiveATgmailDOTcom
- Improving our website
- update the blog
- donate craft supplies especially cotton fabric, thread and needles
- Events promotion
- Graphic Design
- Spread the word!