I, Craftivist.

I’m going to admit it. Whenever I see people writing about craftivism in a “we” sense, I get a bit squirrelly. Why? Because of why the term isn’t copyrighted. Because of individuality. Because of concepts instead of constructs. I envisioned it more of a group “I” term instead of a “we” term. A group of individually reached “Is” who form a larger “we.”

But then again, ideas aren’t copyrighted, as they shouldn’t be. (Want an example? Read more about the Bikram yoga controversy.) It’s in the public domain, yes. But it’s weird to have an idea that you championed from scratch suddenly be defined by other people… in ways you don’t necessarily agree. And even weirder when theory is written of “craftism” which is a word derived from a misspelling!

It’s totally dumb to feel proprietary to something, but having it misused and misconstrued really does bother me. And I feel childish for getting annoyed by something so petty, although watching something that is so integral to your life and way of being (Because to me that’s what it’s all about. Embracing your life at the place between the creative process -craft- and positive change -activism- and going forth boldly and strongly to make the world a better place.) be misunderstood is hard.

At the end of the day, craftivism is just a way to explain how you feel with one word instead of many, and little else. Maybe I just have to formally realize that it’s all grown up and needs to make its own way in the world. I just feel bad I didn’t give it more of a solid sense of self earlier before it struck out in this world by itself, because it has deep and well-meaning roots. And I hope that on its way, its original values and ideals are not swept aside. And that it’s taken care of and moved forward with love and creativity and wonder and kindness.

That being said, receiving emails and reading about works that invoke just what I was hoping (using craft and activism for good!) warms my heart to no end. I am always so amazed when people tell me their stories or actions or whatever and how they are pushing the world to wake up, look deeper, love harder and are willing to explore the goodness that happens when creativity and wish for positive growth/change meet. This is what I hope stays with it going forward, that its aim remains true and good and chock full of love.

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One Response to I, Craftivist.

  1. urban craft December 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    i like this. Although, I personally think of craftivism as a movement of people, or plural. Cause most people feel the same way you feel about it. And it would be a little sad to think that you were the only one that felt this way about it, don’t you think? I feel it is something that I want lots of people to to personally take possession of – the idea of craft and art and a positive change within themselves and the world. So, because craft is so personal, I assume it will always be chock full of love, cause you are usually putting so much time and effort into art for something for another person.
    There’s also the activism part where it could sound political, like knitters for Obama, or something.
    Then again, this whole concept might become lost on people who are not crafty.

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