It’s time to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
I’ve finished most of the stack and enjoyed flipping through the books with a couple pots of tea. I’m still finishing up one book that I wanted to spend extra time on: How to be a Craftivist: The art of gentle protest by Sarah Corbett.
As the author asks in the book: “If we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair, shouldn’t our activism be beautiful, kind and fair?”
This book is by the founder of the Craftivist Collective and provides an alternative to responding to injustice with apathy or aggression – responding instead with gentle, effective protest.
The back cover summary provides as excellent overview of the book so I am going to just quote it: “Quiet action can sometimes speak as powerfully as the loudest voice. With thoughtful principles, practical examples and honest stories from her own experience as a once burnt-out activist, Corbett shows how activism through craft can produce long-lasting positive change.”
If you are interested in Craftivism (using craft as a form of activism according to the author), I highly recommend you borrow this book from your library or pick up a copy at a local bookstore (or online).
The author shares a Craftivist’s Manifesto and I’ve listed her ten (10) actions below but I refer you to the book for more details and explanations:
- Be the tortoise
- Craft is our tool
- Solidarity not sympathy
- Find comfort in contemplation
- Empathy never points fingers
- Small and beautiful
- Humility holds the key
- Provoke don’t preach
- Embrace positivity
- Make the change you wish to see
The book is peppered with powerful quotes by great thinkers and activists and below are several examples, which are explored deeply in the book:
There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out-of-the-river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in. – Desmond Tutu
Our greatest strength lies in the gentleness and tenderness of our heart. – Rumi
An unexamined life is not worth living .- Socrates
We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove. A tough mind and tender heart. – Martin Luther King
If you want to go quickly go alone. If you want to go far, go together. – African Proverb
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world,. Today and I am wise so I am changing myself. – Rumi
Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up. – Mahatma Gandhi
Handle them carefully for words have more power than atom bombs. – Pearl Stracha Hurd
Evil flourishes when good people do nothing. – Edmund Burke
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.. – Winston Churchill
There are several TED Talks by the author, here is one of her awesome TED Talks:
My Dabble with Craftivism
In my June 27, 2017 post Seeds I share how I contributed a piece/banner from the Women’s March to the national traveling exhibit called Still They Persist: Protest Art of the 2017 Women’s Marches. It is featured in a book about the exhibit by the same title.
NOTE: Being sensitive to the fact that my American blog readers may have differing political views in regards to the current U.S. President and protest events such as the Women’s March, please be thoughtful in any comments you make in the “Thoughts” section of this post about these topics.
My Craftivist Future
A couple of weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation with my sister who challenged me on what direction I want to take my art.
I already plan to continue by series Stories My Father Told Me (see post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me ) which is focused on sharing positive stories through textile art of how my father overcame the challenges of discrimination, segregation, and racism. However after talking to my sister, I am starting to explore other series that will have a “Craftivist” flavor.
Ultimately I would love to make art that inspires dialogue. I am still early in my artistic journey and finding my voice.
Of course I also want to make pretty/visually pleasing traditional and art quilts in the future too as well as many other types of textile crafts. Now to just plan to win the lottery so I can devote all my time to my art! (Oh wait, do you have to play the lottery to win?)
Speaking of “winning the lottery”, I had one of those awesome early morning walk experiences last Friday (or maybe it was Saturday) that felt like a mini-lottery win.
I’ve been trying start each morning with a 2 miles walk around 6:00 am before it gets hot.
The Balloons Over Bend Hot Air Ballon Festival was in progress (July 27 – 29) and much to my surprise during my morning walk I noticed hot air balloons floating over my neighborhood at a fairly low altitude. One of them dipped so low for a moment that I thought it was going to land in my neighborhood park!
It did not land however and took back off up into the sky.
It was 60 degree Fahrenheit with a slight breeze and absolutely crystal clear blue skies. Seeing the hot air balloons float by was an exquisite experience and the moment made me pause and realize that life is filled with many wonderful little sweet surprising moments!