Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism

Edited by Betsy Greer. Arsenal Pulp, $24.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-55152-534-1
Not a book of instruction but of inspiration, Greer’s follow-up to Knitting for Good is a compelling survey of the global, little-known world of crafting as activism. She’s organized the anthology so it moves “from the personal to the political” beginning with one Australian woman’s practice of “guerrilla kindness” by leaving little handmade prop cupcakes for strangers to find. By the end of the book, readers will meet Catherine West, whose U.K.-based Significant Seams “undertakes craftivist acts on issues important to our own community” of urban London; Carrie Reichardt, who makes amazing mosaic pieces on buildings in the U.K.; L.J. Roberts’s reflections on craft and queer theory; and Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet, who work together in Spain on text-based knitting machine projects. If this all sounds a little academic, it is a bit, and the book suffers somewhat from a sense of repetition in the author-penned pieces, which tend to make the same points about combining craft and activism. That said, the photos and interviews are astounding and powerfully inspiring. It’ll be hard not to want to knit a cupcake to leave on a nearby park bench—or think about the political ramifications of recycling craft materials after reading this book. Full-color photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-55152-535-8
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