11 Jan My Craftivism*: by craftivist Emma-Fleur Grof
Name: Emma-Fleur Grof
Location: Linlithgow in bonnie Scotland (Birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots)
Craft of choice: Embroidery
How did you get into craftivism? Having only recently discovered the Craftivist Collective in September via Facebook I was immediately taken with the movement’s concepts and hands-on approach. I love the peaceful yet highly creative and thought provoking manner in which activism is combined with craft. In November I attended a three day Craftivism Bootcamp in Arbroath with Sarah which not only gave me a sound introduction to Craftivism but it also helped me to develop a deeper understanding of issues such as global poverty and how through craft very distressing issues can be highlighted and campaigned about in non-violent manner. It was also fantastic to meet a wonderful and very inspiring group of like-minded people, which really did help me to realise that I am not alone in the world when campaigning about issues that are very close to my heart.
Tell us about your craftivism project / event – what did you do, and how, and why? I recently finished stitching my Footprint kit which reads ‘Be yourself and others will unmask themselves’. I chose to embroider the positive affirmation so it is a gentle yet inspiring reminder to remain true to myself and my beliefs always. I am really pleased with my footprint project as it has also helped to remind me that in order to encourage and support others to want to make a positive impact on the world you must first be comfortable and happy within yourself.
What response have you got / do you hope to get from your craftivism? My first Craftivism project was the mini protest banner and as soon as it saw the light of day on my local high street two different people asked what I was doing and why. Just goes to show small actions can really start a conservation with a stranger and help to educate the local community.
Closer to home my 75 year old mum has been bitten by the craftivism bug and is currently stitching her cross stitch banner!
What were you thinking about while you were stitching? The mini protest banner was such an enjoyable and positive experience, as it really made me think and question the global garment industry and the poorly paid workers that are at the heart of cheap clothing. It’s a refreshing and artistic way to approach and highlight important issues, as it gives both the maker and the observer time to reflect and think about what they can do to help others that don’t have the opportunity to have their voice heard.
How do you think that craftivism can change the world? Often people can become overwhelmed with the many serious issues in the world and see the more traditional methods of activism as unattainable or too demanding on their time and/or energy. Sewing a mini protest banner or embroidering a ‘Don’t blow it hanky’ in your spare time with other like-minded can really help to start changing attitudes at a grass roots whilst creating an individual piece of art that has a very deep meaning for the creator. With time I do feel that craftivism will catch on, as it is a more friendly and non-threating form of activism that can really inspire an individual ‘To be the change you want to see in the world’ ( Mahatma Gandhi).
Thanks Emma-Fleur for your time and words. If you would like to write a guest post for the Craftivist Collective blog, please email us at Craftivist.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are in London on Tuesday 14th January please do join our small, intimate workshop to do our Craftivist Footprints 7pm-9pm in the wonderful eco-craft shop Fabrications. An Italian TV crew will be there to film a small amount but don’t worry, you can ignore them. Tickets are here (grab them quick, we only have 10 spaces!)
If you can’t join us in London- fear not! You can get involved on your own or in a group anywhere in the world. We sell Craftivist Footprint Kits on our Etsy shop if you want to make one for yourself or encourage a group of your friends to make theirs together.
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