May 04, 2006

re:defining.

Below is a response to a post earlier in the week that I thought was so beautiful that it warranted a post of its own.

Sometimes people ask me what craftivism means. Sometimes I don't know quite what to say. Or know how it's related to me.

But craftivism is more than just a way to express your politics and views, it's about finding a way to better your life and that of others through creative endeavors. Because I believe that everything we make with our hands has power. Just what that power is, is your own decision.

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I've just discovered this site and it chimes so many bells with me. In my younger days I went on protest marches and rallies and carried banners and chanted chants. Now I have three young kids and I don't seem to do that stuff anymore. It's not that I no longer care about the same things - believe me, having kids has made me care even more. But nowadays I am more likely to make a sturdy shopping bag out of all the plastic carrier bags in the cupboard cut into strips and knit together, or crochet an afghan out of lots of leftover yarn from my late mother's stash and give it to my father as a Christmas gift. Things like that. Currently I am braiding a rag rug out of all my old maternity dresses (boy does that ever provide closure!)

What would have happened if I *hadn't* gone on all those protest marches back then? Nothing much. Everyone else would still have showed up - 30,000 people minus me is still lots of people. But if I hadn't made that afghan for my dad, I never would have got to see the glistening in his eyes on Christmas day, and the tears in my own eyes when I visit him and see it folded over the arm of his favourite chair, obviously much used.

I never had a name for this before, or for the quilts I made for my kids which I tuck round them extra tight every time I hear another mother's son or daughter has been killed by a suicide bomb, or the cookies we bake together from scratch because I want them to understand where food comes from (and also they taste good), or all the things I repair around the home not because I can't afford to replace them but because ... because ... well just because I *prefer* to. And now I do have a name for it. Craftivism. Thank you.

Posted by betsy at May 4, 2006 04:33 PM
Comments

Wow. Good post.

Posted by: Julia at May 4, 2006 06:35 PM

wow, that post is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this post, and so much more.

Posted by: Natalia at May 5, 2006 03:35 PM
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