Interviewed by Craftivist Rin Hamburgh:
Find out more about the inspirational lady behind Craftivism Collective, the fabulous Sarah Corbett….
What is your earliest memory? I remember my first day at nursery: I was wearing homemade dungarees – made by my mum – which I loved. But then I noticed everyone else was wearing dresses and ringlets in their hair, and had to be taken home because I was crying so much!
What was your day job before you left to run Craftivist Collective full time? My professional background is working for large international development charities in campaigning and public engagement. For the last six years I’ve been fortunate enough to work for Christian Aid, on a DFID (Department for International Development) project called Platform2, and most recently for Oxfam GB as Community & Activism Manger for London & South East England.
How did you get into crafting? I did a bit of craft at school in textile classes, and used to make bags and fabric paint designs on T-shirts for friends as presents, but I wasn’t a hardcore craft-lover until a few years ago. I was traveling around the UK a lot with my job in 2008 and missed painting and using my hands to be creative, so I picked up a cross-stitch kit that I could do whilst travelling and got hooked!
What inspires you? Films that show the creativity of us human beings as well as are complexities, and leave you wanting to help the world fulfill it’s potential to be a wonderful place for everyone and everything. Magazines that are beautifully designed with fab photographs and in-depth interviews with interesting people. And art and craft that cause an emotion in me, regardless of whether I love or hate it.
Who are your heroes? Anyone who serves others by seeing injustices and working hard to be part of the solution, using a tough mind and a tender heart. My role model is an amazing woman called Ann, from my home town of Everton in Liverpool (the fourth most deprived area in UK), who continues to work really hard in our community to make it a better place to live. She does everything from tackling anti-social behaviour and setting up play schemes to lobbying for better housing and running a community cafe. Other awesome people: my parents, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Rosa Parks, Miranda July, Michel Gondry, Saamdu Chetri, and Paul van Zyl…the list could go on!
What’s your ideal way to unwind? Going to the cinema and getting lost in the film, reading a good magazine with a cup of tea in my hand, or stitching a craftivism piece (it’s true, I promise!).
What does craftivism mean to you personally? I’m happy to say that I no longer feel like a burnt-out activist who is upset that I might have to give up fighting for a better world. Craftivism has made activism sustainable for me; it has allowed me to thread activism through everything I do and I really feel like I’ll always be a craftivist. Craftivism has allowed me to stop and think deeply about issues before I act on them, and given me time to reflect on how I can be my best self and be the change that I wish to see in the world. It has also created opportunities to meet with really interesting people, get to know their stories and what they dream the world could look like, and to feel part of a group of lovely, like-minded people. The benefits of craftivism make it a valid form of activism both personally and politically, and I believe that it can be a permanent part of the activism tool kit. I hope you do too.
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