Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not doing more to make the world a better place.
I’m not a doctor or a fire fighter. I blog and I like making pretty clothes. But recently I’ve discovered that craft and fashion have their own activist movements, and they’re doing great things!
“Wide Angle” is a 3 part series I wrote to share what I’ve learned with you. I hope you enjoy it!
I’ve often wondered how to channel my feelings on overwhelming issues like global poverty and social injustice.
Big crowds of people yelling – or making me feel inferior for not being passionate enough – have scared me away from movements I connected with philosophically.
And then I learned about Craftivism! Craft+Activism=Craftivism.
What’s The Goal? To shed light on scandals of our modern age through thought provoking, public craft art installations.
I love this idea because it is both non-violent and empowering to the individual. You can create pieces on your own, or rally a group of crafters to join you on a particular issue.
Example: Showing solidarity with garment workers around the world in a #MiniFashionProtest of London Fashion Week.
While Betsy Greer coined the Craftivism term in 2003, it is not a new concept. There is a long and inspirational history of craft being used to expose injustices.
Example: In the 70s and 80s, Chilean women used arpilleras like the one below to encourage a transfer of power from the dictator, Pinochet, to a democratically elected president.
A question mark on an empty chair represents the absence of a loved one and the uncertainty of his whereabouts or return. A black and white picture on the wall represents the ¿Dónde Está? photos the relatives of the disappeared wore on their chests demanding to know “Where is he?” You can learn more about Chilean aprilleras here.
If you’d like more information, check out the following resources:
- Craftivism Blog: Betsy Greer keeps you updated on new craftivism ideas, events and photos.
- Craftivist Collective: View their Project List or purchase their Mini Protest Banner Kit.
- Social Media: Use #MiniFashionProtest to see what people are working on.
- Crafty Magazine: Has a great blog page dedicated to Craftivism happenings and ideas.