During Fairtrade Fortnight & in the lead up to International Womens Day (8th March) and in support of Oxfam’s GROW campaign, we worked with the V&A to share the story of the inspiring & strong Christine, a Kenyan farmer I met who gave inspired our Tomato Jam project.
From 11am-4pm on 2nd March 2014, with the help of 10 craftivist volunteers and craft resources provided by Coats Crafts we helped over 100 participants stitch gender equality messages onto the lids of jam jars & think about the struggles women around the world face and how we can help support them. Everyone who attended (just under 150 people!) were encouraged to then take their jar home to fill with jam (courtesy of Christine’s recipe) & gift to someone who you want to be part of the solution to world hunger.
This was the second in our series of workshops with the V&A and once again, the feedback was awesome! We saw some familiar faces from the December workshop from children who had begged their parents to take them again to mums who begged their children or friends to come with them! We had a few craftivists come who we recognised from previous events & projects and had lots of people who came along with an open mind and curiosity keen to try some craftivism. I love the fact that we always get some shy people come on their own too knowing that we are a friendly bunch who will support them.
We warned people that this drop-in session needs at least 20minutes to get to grips with what the project is, read all the info and start feeling the meditative benefits of craftivism. Most people stayed for at least an hour and we had some people who stayed longer! People came to the event for many different reasons: some people came because of the cause & wanting to do something linked to International Womens Day, some people who came because they want to be an activist but are nervous how to so saw this as a good way in to think about how they can be better global citizens, some activists came to see how craft can be used in activism and some craft-lovers came to see how craft can be used to do activism. There were many other reasons people came too!
It was a great day full of thoughtful conversations about food inequality and what we can do to tackle it; from buying more ethically, campaigning with Oxfam to challenge companies and governments to support farmers rights, and thinking more intentionally about our actions. We collected lovely feedback on Twitter, Instagram and at the end of the session when we had to politely ask people to leave to close up. People were genuinely proud of the jars they had created and told each other why they stitched their message on the jar and who they were going to give their jam to (parents, teachers, local business, politicians and councillors were amongst a few of the lucky recievers).
Thanks to our 10 volunteer Craftivists for making the day super chilled and reflective for people! I’m proud to be a craftivist amongst you all.
If you want to help at our next V&A workshop on Sunday 11th May 11am-4pm please do email us. We have 3 spaces left!
If you couldn’t attend this event don’t worry, you can still get involved in the project on your own or in a group anywhere in the world. All information is here. Plus keep an eye out for future events here and don’t forget that you can do any of our other projects using our kits and other products such as our A Little Book of Craftivism all in our Etsy shop here
Christine’s Recipe: Make your own tomato jam with this simple recipe
Makes 6 half pints Ingredients:
- 5 cups peeled and quartered tomatoes.
- Strips of the tomato skin
- 5 cups of sugar
- 1 lemon, sliced thinly and seeded
- 2 tablespoons butter
Method: Put tomatoes, sugar and sliced lemon in large, heavy pot and bring to slow boil over medium- high heat, stirring occasionally. When foam rises to surface, add butter and continue stirring and simmering until preserves thicken, about 45 minutes. (To test, stick a fork into preserves. When preserves cling to tines of fork, it should be thick enough to can). Pour preserves into sterilized jars, seal and process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.