17 Feb “I think the way crafitvism conveys its message works really well in engaging people in a different way to more traditional forms of activism.” says craftivist Natasha Peters
Name: Natasha Peter
Location: Gloucester, UK
Craft of choice: I mostly knit and cross stitch. I’m hoping to learn embroidery and crochet too.
How did you get into craftivism? I follow Mr X Stitch on Facebook, and through him I found out about the Craftivist Collective’s #imapiece project. I loved the idea of using craft to convey a message and felt it would give my crafting some sort of purpose and focus. I used to work as a campaigner, but had become disillusioned by more traditional forms of activism as I felt they didn’t really engage anyone in the issue at hand, from both the perspectives of activists and politicians.
Tell us about your craftivism project / event – what did you do, and how, and why? My latest project is a mini protest banner on freedom of expression. I was influenced by the case of Pussy Riot and their imprisonment for speaking out against the current government. Then I read about the government relaxing its approach towards China in order to foster business and investment, and thought that it tied neatly into that too. I start projects by trying to find a quote that matches the message I’m trying to get across and go from there. I compile a list and trust my instincts to tell me which one would be best. It also has to be quite short otherwise it can end up tiny and would be difficult to catch people’s attention.
What response have you got / do you hope to get from your craftivism? I hope it makes people reflect on the many places around the world that imprison and torture people for speaking out against the status quo. We may not have the perfect government, but at least we are able to express that without fear of recriminations. I hope it encourages someone to get involved with the Craftivist Collective too.
What were you thinking about while you were stitching? I do most of my thinking about the issue I’m focusing on before stitching. As mentioned, I spend time thinking about the issue and how best to express that through an appropriate quote or statistic. Whilst stitching I mostly focus on trying to get the stitching right!
How do you think that craftivism can change the world? There are many ways in which it can change the world. I think the way crafitvism conveys its message works really well in engaging people in a different way to more traditional forms of activism. Hopefully this will make it more memorable and lead people to researching a particular issue. I know personally that it’s made me reflect on issues I may not have thought of before, and hopefully it would do the same for others, changing the world in the process.
Anything else we should know? I have to mention my partner who helps me come up with ideas of where to place my bits of craftivism. She acts as my look out too!