What Is Craftivsm and How You Can Get Involved
Discover craftivism and help make a difference!
What Is Craftivism?
Craftivism is what happens when activism meets crafting, something typically regarded as a feminine pastime. It's defined as "the practice of engaged creativity" and doesn't matter if your craft of choice is knitting, crochet, cross stitch, collages, or anything other craft. You can do any craft you love to do that is engaging social or political discourse.
While the word craftivism was coined by Betsy Greer in 2003, the act itself has been around much longer. Timeline's Stephanie Buck says that women have long been using domestic crafts to "educate, protest, and connect" with each other, "even through periods of intense adversity."
Tavern owner Molly "Old Mom" Rinker used balls of yarn to hide British troop movements in Philadelphia for George Washington in 1777. Female slaves in Alabama used to sew scraps of cloth together to make quilts for those that needed them. These quilts eventually gained recognition during the Civil Rights Movement, called the Freedom Quilting Bee, and inspired projects like the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Craftivism has continued to today.
It's important to acknowledge that craftivism hasn't always been inclusive of marginalized people and needs to work harder to be inclusive of everyone.
Greer says, "Women are exploring what they can do with craft, because it has historically given us a voice when we didn't have a voice."
What You Can Do
Now that you know more about craftivism and a bit of it's history, let's talk about what you can do to get involved in craftivism too! The good news is that, if you already make any crafts, you can turn your craft into a form of activism! If you aren't much of a crafter or are looking to pick up a new craft, there are tons of resources online that can get you started. Don't underestimate talking to some of the women in your life and asking them to teach you.
Some crafts you could try are:
• cross stitch
• collage making
• print making
• and so much more!
• Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism by Betsy Greer
• Knitting For Good by Betsy Greer
• How To Be A Craftivist: The Art of Gentle Protest by Sarah Corbett
• Crafting the Resistance by Lara Neel