Craftivist Collective: Craft for Wellbeing
As the name suggests, Craftivist Collective, founded in 2009, is a movement which seeks to combine craft and activism.
Their aim is to provoke awareness and discussion of issues surrounding local and global poverty and injustice. The World Health Organisation includes “contributing to society” as one of their paths to wellbeing. This was the focus of the most recent Craftivist exhibition, which was held in Aldgate East in London. The project, titled #wellMAKING, was the culmination of more than 50 ‘stitch-ins’ held across the nation. It’s goal was to encourage people to think about what wellbeing means to them. Craft has proven to be a useful tool in this reflective process with feedback ranging from feeling confident to make change in society to feeling encouraged to not buy sweatshop clothes because of a new appreciation of the effort that goes into making them. Engaging in craft requires concentration and an openness to learning new skills, this encourages creativity whilst positive affirmations from fellow craft makers can boost self-esteem; thus making craft a meaningful vehicle for enhanced wellness. The Craftivist Collective’s manifesto draws upon responses from the hundreds of Craftivists who were involved in creating the Craftivisits Garden. Through their own experience with Craftivist Collective, they have been made aware that craft has the power to help people:
1) Think mindfully about the world
The way we live, our relationships with others and the role we play in creating a healthy society.
2) Slow down
And be in the present; craft can be a tool for deep engagement with complex issues.
3) Learn to value
Learning to value and be confident in our abilities and ourselves.
4) Become empowered
Gaining a sense of empowerment by being engaged, creative and critical citizens.
5) Become active
By actively producing rather than passively consuming.
6) Regain control
When situations and circumstances threaten to overwhelm us.
7) To have fun
Finding relief and fun in distracting ourselves from daily stresses by doing something purposeful.
8) Come together
Building strong social bonds, to make and become change-makers.
9) Be involved
Building a respectful and trusting environment in which to share.
10) Practice acts of kindness
By sharing, supporting, encouraging, giving and receiving. You can find out more about Craftivist Collective, including upcoming projects, by visiting their website here.