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Craftivism - The Art and Craft of Activism


The Art and Craft of Activism

Edited by Betsy Greer
Categories: Cultural Studies, Visual Arts, Politics, Crafts & Hobbies, Anthologies
Paperback : 9781551525341, 222 pages, 2014
Read Excerpt (PDF)


Craftivism is a worldwide movement that operates at the intersection of craft and activism; Craftivism the book is full of inspiration for crafters who want to create works that add to the greater good. In these essays, interviews, and images, craftivists from four continents reveal how they are changing the world with their art. Through examples that range from community embroidery projects, stitching in prisons, revolutionary ceramics, AIDS activism, yarn bombing, and crafts that facilitate personal growth, Craftivism provides imaginative examples of how crafters can be creative and altruistic at the same time.

Artists profiled in the book are from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Asia, and their crafts include knitting, crocheting, sewing, textiles, pottery, and ceramics. There's the Brooklyn writer who creates large-scale site-specific knitted installations; the British woman who runs sewing and quilting workshops for community building and therapy; the Indonesian book maker and organizer of a DIY craft center; and the Oxford, UK, cultural theorist and designer dressmaker. A wonderful sense of optimism and possibility pervades the book: the inspiring notion that being crafty can really make the world a better place.


Even those who are not especially crafty will find this book compelling because it doesn't just focus on the craft projects themselves, but on the social impact that these projects have on others. For those who are of the crafty persuasion, this book may supply the necessary motivational fodder to mobilize your crafting efforts and make an impact on the world. -Makezine

- Makezine

The book features the work both whimsical - like Guerrilla Kindness, a campaign centered around leaving works of art in public places for people to enjoy - and more intense, like the groups of Chilean arpilleristas who embroider and collage the tragedy their families suffered under the totalitarian Pinochet regime. There are projects that will bring tears to your eyes, like The Blood Bag Project and Quilts of Valor, and some that will inspire and excite you, like Mila Burcikova\'s recycled clothing company. -Hey Mishka

- Hey Mishka

Betsy Greer has collected an impressive line-up of experts, and their essays both informative and delightful. This is a book for anyone who's into craft or activism -- or are simply curious about either.
-Perri Lewis, author of Material World and creative director of Mastered

- Perri Lewis

Sharing stories of how people make changes in the world through creative acts of making, Betsy Greer reminds us that revolutions are small before they are grand. In the spirit of craftivism, she gives voice to others, sharing their stories to demonstrate how collaboration - as much as action and listening - can effect change.
-Namita Gupta Wiggers, Director and Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Craft and Co-Founder, Critical Craft Forum

- Namita Gupta Wiggers

Craftivism explores the power of being meaningful with our head and hands. Making with active intention is a political act no matter how big or small your intention is. Making is scary, and Craftivism gives permission to craftivists to be loud, to be quiet, to make with meaning, and most importantly, to share and create a difference.
-Kate Bingaman-Burt, author of Obsessive Consumption

- Kate Bingaman-Burt

Socially conscious crafters who enjoy the efforts of Faythe Levine (Handmade Nation) and Leanne Prain (Yarn Bombing, Hoopla) will be inspired by these activists' thought-provoking work. -Library Journal

- Library Journal

Not a book of instruction but of inspiration, Greer's follow-up to Knitting for Good is a compelling survey of the global, little-known world of crafting as activism . .. The photos and interviews are astounding and powerfully inspiring. -Publishers Weekly

- Publishers Weekly

Craftivism puts the optimism and whimsy back in activism. -Rabble. ca


A richly illustrated compendium of voices . .. The book is part manifesto and part philosophical inquiry. Best of all, it presents a peaceable army of crafters who have taken to the streets to Occupy (yes!) a new place in the cultural landscape. Through interviews with a broad array of artisans with unique artistic visions, we learn how crafting can transform public spaces, inspire young people to make their own things and (wait for it) make the world a better place. Too good to be true? No! Instead, too true to be good. These makers of things are wicked! They are subversive, outraged and ready to make trouble in the most beautiful ways. -BookPage

- BookPage

Greer's book documents and celebrates the revolutionary potential of craft as a vessel for change . .. Craftivism is an incredibly engaging conversation with the broadest range of folks using craft as political activism. It explores the fullest breadth of contemporary practice encompassing knitting, cross stitch, mending, fashion design, upcycling and quilting. It expands the reader's expectations of what is possible whilst at the same time demonstrating the power of the smallest action. -Needle and Spindle

- Needle and Spindle

Beyond the projects, the contributors give readers a glimpse into their inspirations, motivations, process, and results both intended and unexpected.
The enthusiasm of the book's participants over their individual efforts and their resulting effects on their community will leave you wanting to find your own craftivism project. If you in any way enjoy or are interested in crafts, activism, or community/public art projects, then you definitely need to pick up Craftivism. -Canada Arts Connect

- Canada Arts Connect