Sep 28th, 2012
Continuing on from my post the other day about solo craftivist acts, 2 things have come to my attention lately that are 2 very different solo acts of craftivism. Public vs. private. I’m not making any judgements to which is “better” or “worse,” these are just two very different stories that have come up on my radar lately that fit under the umbrella of craftivism.
1. Tramway to Hell
This bit of crochet was put in the other day in Edinburgh to speak out against a local tram project.
“I was making my way home when it caught my eye. It was on tram barriers near the H&M close to Waverley Station. Quite a few people were gathered in front of it, having a look and taking pictures.
“I’m certainly familiar with the concept of yarn-bombing, and I know it’s been getting more popular here, but I’ve only ever heard of people, say, covering up benches or handrails to add a bit of colour to the environment, not making a political statement. It’s a bit like graffiti, but without the paint.”
Mary, who is herself a keen knitter and crocheter but insists she wasn’t responsible, said that the blanket was of a “high-standard”.
“I would guess that it must have taken at least a week, maybe two, so a lot of work went into it.
“Princes Street looks grim beyond belief right now and it was nice to see something colourful that was also making people think.”
2. Tina Selby’s 10,000 Hats for Soldiers in Afghanistan
Tiny Selby just finished her 10,000th hat for soldiers in Afghanistan. A very different act of craftivism.
Tina Selby, 50, from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, has now knitted more than 10,000 woolly hats.
In 2009, Mrs Selby planned to knit just 500 for regiments in Helmand province.
But, following the response she received from the troops, Mrs Selby will carry on knitting until the soldiers leave Afghanistan.
“It’s a full-time job,” said Mrs Selby, who is retired.
Tina Selby says she had about 100 knitters helping her send woolly hats to soldiers in Afghanistan,”but I’ll keep going until they come home in 2014.”
But, both speak to the heart of craftivism: using your creativity for positive change. (Okay, “tramway to hell” may not be the most positive, but it’s opening dialogue, which is it’s own type of change.) What I find fascinating is the dialogue that springs up around each of them. Public and private. One is just as good as the other, but does one make the maker feel better? The viewer? Yourself?
Do they elicit different internal dialogues? Does one seem more “legit” than the other? Does one deserve more recognition than the other?
This is what I’m working with at present, wondering, why do we do the craftivist acts that we do? What is our individual goal in doing them? Which do people prefer? No answers yet, just thoughts. Would love to hear yours!