How we define Craftivism: by Sophie Freeman

30 Jun How we define Craftivism: by Sophie Freeman

With the term ‘craftivism’ being used much more nowadays and sometimes in our opinion, used wrongly to label something, we decided to make it clear what we see as craftivism (and therefore without naming names; what we dont see as craftivism).  One of our active London craftivists Sophie Freeman writes:
Betsy Greer is know for coining 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 for our zine wrote “I’m glad that Sarah [Craftivist Collective Founder and Coodinator] has really understood what I was tryiing 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 .

Activism, according to the Oxford English Dictionary *licks finger, scores the air for showing impressive learnedness* is “the use of vigourous campaigning to bring about political or social change”. 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.

Another one of our catchphrases is “a spoonful of craft helps the activism go down” (created by craftivist Rosa Marytn). Our projects are fresh and provocative but above all inclusive. We use the non-threatening and fun medium of craft to get people to stop, think and act on global poverty and injustice.

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.

We often display our finished products (like the mini-protest banners or climate clocks) 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. Our projects aim to give people the time to stop and think about an issue while they’re creating something beautiful and meaningful.

Everyone, from the creator of a craftivist product to the observer, is asked to think and take action on the status quo of an unequal society. We believe that everyone can make a difference and anyone can be a craftivist.


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