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Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activismby Betsy Greer
Sunday, October 05, 2014 07:30 PM
Powell's City of Books on Burnside, Portland, OR
Make Your Voice Heard: The Intersection of Craft, Creativity, and Activism will feature a lively conversation with three prolific writer-designer-makers. Portland illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt will moderate a discussion with Betsy Greer, author of Craftivism (Arsenal Pulp); Leanne Prain, author of Strange Material (Arsenal Pulp); and Kim Werker, author of Make It Mighty Ugly (Sasquatch). This event is being held in conjunction with Design Week Portland.
Synopses & Reviews
Craftivism is a worldwide movement that operates at the intersection where craft and activism meet; Craftivism the book is full of inspiration for crafters who want to create works that add to the greater good. With interviews and profiles of craftivists who are changing the world with their art, and 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 United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, 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, England, cultural theorist and dress designer. A wonderful sense of optimism and possibility pervades the book: the inspiring notion that being crafty can really make the world a better place.
Betsy Greer is a writer, crafter, researcher, and the author of Knitting for Good!: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social and Political Change Stitch by Stitch. She also runs the blog craftivism.com and believes that creativity and positive activism can save not only the soul, but also the world.
"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. She's organized the anthology so it moves 'from the personal to the political' beginning with one Australian woman's practice of 'guerrilla kindness' by leaving little handmade prop cupcakes for strangers to find. By the end of the book, readers will meet Catherine West, whose U.K.-based Significant Seams 'undertakes craftivist acts on issues important to our own community' of urban London; Carrie Reichardt, who makes amazing mosaic pieces on buildings in the U.K.; L.J. Roberts's reflections on craft and queer theory; and Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet, who work together in Spain on text-based knitting machine projects. If this all sounds a little academic, it is a bit, and the book suffers somewhat from a sense of repetition in the author-penned pieces, which tend to make the same points about combining craft and activism. That said, the photos and interviews are astounding and powerfully inspiring. It'll be hard not to want to knit a cupcake to leave on a nearby park bench — or think about the political ramifications of recycling craft materials after reading this book. Full-color photos. (May) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An anthology of essays, interviews and photographs on the intersection between craft and activism.
About the Author
Betsy Greer: Betsy Greer is a writer, a maker, and a researcher, and the author of Knitting for Good!: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change Stitch by Stitch. She runs the blog craftivism.com and believes that creativity and positive activism can not only save the soul, but also the world.
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