While I was in Melbourne, I found Sarah Corbett’s A Little Book of Craftivism. Yes, it is literally small, but inspiring out of proportion to its size. It is about the work of the craftivist collective, together with proposals about how the reader might engage in their own craftivism.
For those who might be wondering… one definition of craftivism: ‘Craftivism is a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper & your quest for justice more infinite.’ More at the link.
I loved this little book from the beginning. This is activism of a gentle, slow kind. It isn’t the only kind of activism the world needs. But every social movement needs a variety of approaches–I’ve participated in many–and gentle is one of them. This book is packed with organising wisdom, clear instruction, pictures that inspire and make you wish you had been there and examples of projects from the small to the enormous that offer plenty of scope for DIY.
For a view of the book and its content, click here. For a brief review with links to multiple other reviews and ways to purchase online other than through amazon, click here. To purchase from the craftvist collective itself, click here and check the sidebar.
Did I mention finding this book inspiring? I think it’s one of the highest compliments that you could pay to a book of its kind to say that I immediately wanted to go out and make some of the projects in this book and could immediately see places that could happen to good effect. Not only that, I tried my ideas out on my nearest and dearest and then created them. My ‘mini protest banner’ is a little different to the cross stitched versions in the book–but nevertheless the same concept.
- a calico sack from a local business for my banner background (I offered to take the offcast bags from a shop and they accepted)
- some not-so-glorious leaf print experiments for backing
- some leaf-printed collars and cuffs for my frame
- some eucalyptus dyed silk thead and
- some secondhand bias binding… and…
Before long I had made two banners. We hung the first one today. One of my friends offered the view that every day was a good day for this kind of event (I guess we’re friends in part because we agree on things like that!) so we had cool drinks of water and cherries and chat and then went out to admire the tree and tie on. The 6 year old present wants to make more banners, which is additionally promising.
This banner celebrates a river red gum (E Camaldulensis) that we managed to save from being cut down last year, with help from other local people and our local MP, Steph Key. It has a legally mandated 3 m exclusion zone around it to protect the root zone, but this is not being observed very well lately and I want the people responsible to know that we care. I had to measure the tree to be sure I had stitched on enough tape: 3.6 m (11′ 9”) around the trunk, well above the ground. To give you a sense of its size… and the relative size of the banner (which is in the picture), I give you the full view.