Book Review: A Little Book of Craftivism

 

The Craftivist Collective is a group of people across the world reflecting on and challenging social injustices through the medium of craft. With their small, hand-stitched projects and public installations, these craftivists tackle issues of human rights, global poverty and social inequality in a provocative and thoughtful way, quietly encouraging people to engage with the issues on their own terms.”

 

Being a person who likes to keep her finger on the pulse of all things craft, I have come across the work and voice of The Craftivist Collective quite a number of times over the past year. I took part in their TheJigsaw Project, in which crafters stitched messages against world hunger onto fabric jigsaw pieces, sending one to their local MP and one to a fabric art installation – quite literally a giant jigsaw – in London. I read Craftivism founder Sarah Corbett’s column every month in Craft Magazine, and have seen features in almost every other craft magazine I’ve picked up. It’s not surprising that we’ve seen so much of the collective, after all they’re very good at getting their voice out there on the world’s most serious issues – and in a quiet, peaceful way, using craft.

 


So I was pretty enthusiastic about getting my hands of a paper incarnation of the craftivist message in the form of A Little Book of Craftivism. I’m a lover of books, so fighting social inequality, using craft, and reading all about it in a book, is somewhere near to perfect for this crafter.

 


A neat little volume at just sixty-three pages long, it begins with the story of Sarah Corbett’s past as a passionate activist, campaigning against injustice in whatever way she could. But having ‘burnt out’ as she puts it, and lost faith in the methods by which she was trying to change the world, she decided to combine her love for activism with a new-found love for cross stitch… and Craftivism was born.

 

What follows is a powerful punch of inspiration for implementing your own Craftivism acts, from mini protest masks to banners and messages stitched onto jam jar lids. The book even shows you how to do the stitches you’ll need.

 

The tone of this book is true to the message they spread: small acts, carried out peacefully and mindfully with kindness and intention, can make a huge impact on the communities we live in. It doesn’t preach and there isn’t a scrap of arrogance about its approach, it’s just a book full of bright little ideas for making the world a better place for us all.

I have one friend who works to fight human rights issues in her spare time, and another who is a supremely talented crafter, so I have bought two extra copies to gift to them, believing this book may just do the trick in helping both turn their respective passions into craftivism. I like the fact that the book in itself is a statement, something tangible to pass between friends and discuss together. After all, as The Craftivist Collective say, ‘a spoonful of craft helps the activism go down.’

 

 

A Little Book of Craftivism is published by Cicada and is available to buy here


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