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CRAFTIVISM: THE ART OF CRAFT AND ACTIVISM BY BETSY GREER

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Craftivism is a form of activism that merges traditional crafts such as knitting, embroidery, and sewing with social and political issues. The term “craftivism” was first used by Betsy Greer in 2003 to describe the use of crafting as a means of social change.


Betsy Greer, born in 1975, is a writer, crafter, researcher, and author. In 2014, she published Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism, where, through personal stories, interviews, and examples from around the world, she shows how crafting can be a powerful tool for social justice. She also provides practical advice on how to start a craftivist project and use crafting as a form of self-care and personal healing.


Betsy Greer's book cover and work
© Betsy Greer

Craftivism is based on the concept that handmade items are immersed in the sense of care and personal connection and that these qualities can be used to create social and political change. The craftivism movement is inclusive and accessible; anyone can participate regardless of skill level or experience. According to Greer, “To some, our work may seem unimportant, but to me, the small scale of craftivism is vital. It turns us, as well as our work, into vessels of change.”


Craftivism is a powerful tool for activism because it provides a way to connect with people on a personal level and to create concrete, physical representations of essential issues. It can be particularly effective in situations where other forms of activism may be difficult or dangerous, such as in repressive political regimes or in cases where protests are banned.


Craftivism can also be a way to reclaim traditional crafts that have been devalued and dismissed as “women’s work” and give them new meaning and purpose. By using these crafts as a means of social and political change, craftivists are challenging traditional gender roles and highlighting the importance of creativity and community.


With her book, Greer hopes to ”[…]show you how you can use your creativity to improve your life as well as the lives of others.”

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