The Felt Impacts of the Tar Sands – #feltimpacts #tarsands #craftivism from You and I Films on Vimeo.
From the press release:
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 – Street felt-artist Lucy Sparrow unrolled an ambitious artwork at the annual Canada Europe Energy Summit outside Canada House in Trafalgar Square, as Canadian minister Joe Oliver met with the UK government, the CEO of BP, Bob Dudley and other major players in the tar sands industry to discuss undermining EU climate legislation, the Fuel Quality Directive, to open up global markets to Canada’s highly-polluting fossil fuels.
“It is horrific to see how ecosystems, communities and many species of animals are being destroyed in a last push to extract Canadian tar sands,” said Sparrow. “I wanted to make sure that as decision-makers met today to undermine climate legislation in the EU, to push forward with this brutal form of extracting energy, that they could not escape the image of the horror and devastation that their reckless decisions are causing.”
The giant felt work blocked three entrances of Canada House as ministers and industry representatives from Shell, Enbridge and others arrived. It depicted in graphic detail the devastating impacts that the Canadian tar sands extraction is having on ecosystems in Canada that communities rely on. “As the communities downstream from the Alberta tar sands we are seeing the felt impacts of the tar sands daily. We are seeing elevated levels of cancer and auto-immune diseases in our communities and our water is no longer safe to drink,” said Jesse Cardinal from the Keepers of the Athabasca. “With more and more of these ecosystems being decimated and water systems being polluted, animals and fish that the community rely on are presenting with tumours and being pushed to extinction. Our future as a people is hanging in the balance.”
For more information about this and the tar sands, please visit the UK Tar Sands Network.
Learning about this project has really got me thinking about craftivism and non-confrontational engagement, like in the video and photos above. How can we engage without encouraging anger, instead bringing forth dialogue?
Happy to report that Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism is almost at the printer! Hooray! You can find out more about it over at Arsenal Pulp and pre-order it over on Amazon.
This month has been a busy one with a trip to Joshua Tree, California for Camp CARPA with the Craft Research Agency, where I met loads of other amazing artists and generally enjoyed hanging out in the desert for a week. Incredible conversations were had, crafty drone replicas were made, and a lot of stitching was done.
I have two pieces up at the Spoken Threads craftivism show at ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse, so if you’re in the area, go have a look!
A talk at the V&A in London next month at the The Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth conference with some fine folks on the roster with me as you can see below. I’ll be talking about craftivism in the non-English speaking world. Have an example you’d like for me to talk about? Let me know in the comments or through
I’ll also begin working my PTSD quilt/embroidery project, too! As an extension of the post I wrote here on PTSD and relationships, it’s been retooled and rewritten for Elephant Journal, and you can go read it here.
I’ll be talking more about that particular project later, but it includes collecting statements (the exact format of which I’m still working on) from people with diagnosed PTSD and stitching them together in a quilt. The point of the project is to take statements from people who have a disorder that often leaves them alienated and feeling unworthy and put them together, showing them that they are not, in fact, alone.
Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism is now on Amazon and available for pre-order! Yay!
Also, I’m working on an essay for an academic anthology on crafters and the internet called “What Do Crafters Owe the Internet?” Subsequently, I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic and have created a survey, which you can check out here.
1. The video below is the amazing Kate Bingaman-Burt giving a TEDx talk in Portland. Along with getting hella inspired while watching it, you can also learn how (and why) it’s important to become an “art soldier.”
2. Things have been slow here as I have been off editing a book! As I don’t have the name quite yet, I am just referring to it is Craftivism: The Book! It will be published by Arsenal Pulp in spring 2014. Want updates about its progress? You can sign up for the newsletter here.