Sunday, September 14, 2014

My review of Craftivism by Betsy Greer

Craftivism: The Art of Craft and ActivismCraftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism by Betsy Greer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had not come across the term craftivism before reading this book, but I had come across the actions of craftivism, having seen many people be active in Wrap with love, and other charity knitting done in many libraries, as well as other public projects (and been involved in some myself).

This book brings together a wonderful range of craftivism people and actions, some you will have heard of and others which are new. There are some lovely options, which help communities, such as the crafted baskbetball nets to replace stolen and vandalised ones, and the work of the Adithi collective who were stitching the story of Chile, but were not regarded as dangerous as they were embroidering. Their embroidery was able to tell people what was happening (because it was regarded as harmless), this subversiveness was critical for sharing information outside the country during a very tough time.

Some of the stories are about individuals and their singular paths of craftivism, while others are stories of communities or groups working together.

There are a many countries and styles of craftivism discussed, as well as some interesting historical examples. This book would be useful for libraries to add to their collections for local craftivists, but also for thinking about programs and services provided by the library, and for helping people connect to information to help with their craftivism. This is a key role which libraries and their staff can play.

It struck me that there should be a deliberate discussion in more places (including libraries), so that people think more strategically about the craftivism, and acknowledge that it is as powerful as it is.

I am now doing a lot of catch up reading about craftivism.

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