People sometimes ask what is the biggest benefit of using craft as a medium for activism. I struggle to narrow it down to 20 benefits never mind one, but the first thing many experience as a benefit of craftivism is that it is a form of ‘slow activism’.
It gives the craftivist a chance to reflect on an issue. I always encourage people to craft on their own as well as with others so that they can reflect even more deeply by exercising their inner monologue, something we often don’t make time to do in our busy lives. There are some moving testimonies on the website of the charity Fine Cell Work by prisoners who craft which helps them gain a craft skill, some income and also help with rehabilitation.
Activism is often fast: sign this petition, click this ‘like’, march down this street. Doing craftivism disciplines me to think about injustices. It reminds me that positive social change often has many elements to its solution, is a continuous challenge with few quick wins and that evil flourishes when good people do nothing.
I regularly receive honest and thoughtful comments from people saying what they were thinking when stitching their craftivism piece and thanking us for offering them an activity to help them to ask themselves how we can all be pieces of the solution to injustices in the world: that’s a question that is hard to answer and what better way to help ourselves reflect on that issue than with a needle and thread in hand?
You can Join in our projects and connect with me & the Craftivist Collective at www.craftivist-collective.com & you can find more top tips on how to be an effective craftivist in our new book A Little Book of Craftivism.
Sarah Corbett grew up as an activist and has worked in the charity sector for over 7 years in engaging people in global injustices working for Christian Aid, DFID and most recently Oxfam as a Community & Activism Campaigner before she became a full time Craftivist. She founded the Craftivist Collective in 2009 after craft-lovers around the world asked to join in her craftivism (activism through craft) as a way to make positive change and give introverts a voice outside of traditional extrovert forms of activism.