5 types of activism we think craftivism can be – visual minutes from Sarah’s Shambala Festival talk

09 Sep 5 types of activism we think craftivism can be – visual minutes from Sarah’s Shambala Festival talk

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When I got an email from Ed Gillespie, Co-founder of Futerra & author of ‘Only Planet‘ asking me to speak at Shambala Festival in his brilliantly titled tent: ‘The Emporium of Invaluable Insights’ on August Bank Holiday it was hard to say no plus it was on the way to do craftivism at Greenbelt Festival so I managed to go & hang out at this lovely festival for the day. 

You might have seen the tweets, Instagram pics or posts on our Facebook Page of me in Shambala   delivering a talk to festival-goers chilling out in the warm, welcoming and whimsical tent & the response we had which was ace!

It was a super-friendly and thoughtful audience open to hearing about our approach to craftivism plus I loved the fact that they had a bunch of illustrators and artists creating ‘visual minutes‘ on boards that where then left up for the entire festival for people to see a summary of the talks they  had missed. These images are totally shareable/pinnable/tweetable/instagrammable… online don’t you think?! (hint hint hehee;p)

The theme for the Emporium this year was: Make. Do. Mend. And here is a little report from Ed on how it went plus the ‘visual minutes’ of my talk (higher resolution images can be found on our Flickr album here)

 

 

The Visual Minutes board of my talk which I think was about 10foot tall

The Visual Minutes board of my talk which I think was about 10foot tall

 

 

“It was truly wonderful to have so many amazing and committed speakers giving so freely of their valuable time to come and share the experience and have a little adventure in utopia in that wee corner of Northamptonshire that springs into verdant and vibrant pop-up life each and every August Bank Holiday weekend… 

 

 

The top of the 'Visual Minutes' board summarising my craftivism talk

The top of the ‘Visual Minutes’ board summarising my craftivism talk

 

 

“This was our third year of curating the Emporium and easily (in our modest view) the best so far, bringing something unique, provocative and profound to proceedings…

” Sarah inspired us to stitch and bitch with the best, urging elegant and beautiful provocations with graft that shift perceptions and behaviours, campaigning has never looked so artful”

 

I gave a bit of background on how craft had been used throughout history for political change

I gave a bit of background on how craft had been used throughout history for political change & my background growing up as an activist and then as a professional campaigner

 

 

 

Then I spoke a little bit about the physical, psychological & emotional benefits of using handicraft and how linking that to activism is a great fit sometimes

Then I spoke a little bit about the physical, psychological & emotional benefits of using handicraft and how linking that to activism is a great fit in lots of ways

 

 

 

1 focused on 5 ways craft can be useful in the activism toolkit. 1 it helps transform ourselves before we ask other to change

1 focused on 5 ways craft can be useful in the activism toolkit. First of all I think it helps transform ourselves

 

 

 

Craftivism is a form of respectful activism- it's about engaging people in conversation, empathising with others whether they are victims or perpetrators, listening and working together to be the change you wish to see. All common sense really if we want long term change in our hearts and minds too don't you think?

In my opinion craftivism is a form of respectful activism- it’s about engaging people in conversation, empathising with others whether they are victims or perpetrators, listening and working together to be the change you wish to see. All common sense really if we want long term change in our hearts and minds too don’t you think?

 

 

 

For the Craftivist Collective craftivism is about graceful activism: it's about beauty, not trying to save or help people but treating oppressed & vulnerable people with dignity, its about solidarity not charity...

For the Craftivist Collective craftivism is about graceful activism: it’s about beauty, not trying to save or help people but treating oppressed & vulnerable people with dignity, its about solidarity not charity…

 

 

 

Our approach is quiet- quietly engaging on social justice on our own exercising our inner monologues or quietly discussing the issues in small groups and attracting people to come over and ask us questions and see what we are doing

Our approach is quiet- quietly engaging on social justice on our own exercising our inner monologues or quietly discussing the issues in small groups and attracting people to come over and ask us questions and see what we are doing

 

 

 

Our final example of our craftivism methodology is that it has to be joyful: we visualise how more awesome the world can be and how to reach that beauty, activism needs a dose of joy to sustain us and attract others to MAKE the world a better place one stitch at a time...

The final example of our craftivism methodology is that it has to be joyful: we visualise how more awesome the world can be and how to reach that beauty, activism needs a dose of joy to sustain us and attract others to MAKE the world a better place one stitch at a time…

 

 

“I think you’ll agree that is one fantastic feast of purposeful hedonistic fun, leaving all who passed through the Emporium’s portals with actionable inspiration that will lead to ripples of change both gentle and gigantic!” says Ed Gillespie, the organiser of this event. Thanks Ed!:)

What do you think? We would love to hear your comments below :) x

If you couldn’t attend this event but want to find out more about the Craftivist Collective’s methodology, our book A Little Book of Craftivism is a great starting point. Buy here. We are a social enterprise so rely on your support to exist. If you like this post (we hope you do) then do share it with a friend you think might also like it (please).

 

2 Comments
  • Nikki
    Posted at 12:20h, 09 September Reply

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing these, Sarah and team. As a visual person, these are so useful to remind me and allow me to understand the key values and definitions of craftivism. I’ll use this and refer back to it (both online and in my visual memory- these drawings will stick a lot better than words!) when working on craftivist projects and messages to check and remember that I’m on the right track.

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 17:15h, 11 September Reply

      So glad you like them Nikki. I’m a visual learner too. Don’t forget that this is our approach to craftivism. Betsy Greer who coined the term has a different approach and I’m sure other craftivists do too but for us as the Craftivist Collective we believe that this is the best way to do activism using craft. Glad you agree :) x

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