This Saturday, as part of Article 31.1‘s programme of events, I went to a workshop run by the Craftivist Collective. They are relatively new, like us, and in general do things a bit differently (also like us, if we do say so ourselves).
Their aim is…
“To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions.”
Sarah, who ran the workshop, spoke about how activism doesn’t have to be elitist – is it about peacefully raising awareness and working towards change as an individual or a group (the Craftivist Collective are focusing on global poverty). They have made bunting to lobby MPs, cross-stitched masks to raise awareness and made mini protest banners en masse in parks. It may not be your average Saturday afternoon, but it got people talking about important issues as we crafted our own banners.
Here’s the start of mine:
The finished one, will read ‘A third of UK children do not own a single book’ (I’m on the ‘D’ in children at the minute), referring to the National Literacy Trust’s research that a third of UK children ‘own no books’. If I haven’t been too ambitious with spacing, that is.
I remember reading about it at the time and being shocked. And shocked again when libraries continued closing at a ridiculous rate. These are issues that are going to directly affect children growing up today, and although here we talk about books all the time (for obvious reasons), many people aren’t – and if doing something like this persuades one person to donate a book to a school or charity, write a letter to their MP, or even join a collective themselves – well, amazing.
And hats off to activists, as cross-stitching is actually really hard.