Craftivism: The Art of Creative Protest

Over the last few months an anonymous crafter (or group of crafters) has been decorating the post boxes of our local town Marlborough with crocheted scenes. Universally welcomed, these miniature artworks have brought joy and started many a conversation. More recently in Pewsey, someone has been leaving beautifully made crochet gifts with a little note to be found around the village. These are labelled as Random Acts of Crochet.

Both of these events reminded me of the way in which arts and crafts can be used to raise awareness of issues in a very gentle way. This is the basis of Craftivism, mixing activism and crafts.

The basic premise of Craftivism is making something creative with a message. Colourful examples of Craftivism include hand-sewn banners seen at the Greenham Common protests as well as at climate marches today, mini cross-stitch messages left as gifts around neighbourhoods, handkerchiefs stitched with a personal message sent to MPs, and knitted “pussy” hats worn as a protest at Trump’s inauguration!

If you’d like to find out more about Craftivism, check out the Craftivism Collective website or watch the inspiring documentary Craftivism: Making a Difference (hurry, it’s available on BBC iPlayer until the beginning of March 2022).

If you’re really keen to get started, this February the Climate Coalition is asking us to #ShowTheLove for our planet by creating green hearts to send to MPs calling for leadership and action on climate and nature. You can find out how to get involved here.

We’ve written a lot recently about protesting and taking to the streets, but we are fully aware that this isn’t for everyone. Perhaps Craftivism might be just the form of protest for you, a means to voice your concerns about the climate crisis or other issues whilst creating something beautiful and enjoying the process. We’d love to see any Craftivism projects that you have undertaken or ideas you have for future projects!

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