On September 20th RSPB Scotland will be supporting the UK Student Climate Network alongside many other groups and individuals across the globe for the Global Climate Strike. In the lead up we will be posting some blogs about different ways you can get involved in campaigning.
RSPB Scotland’s Allie McGregor talks about craftivism and shares some of her tips for making the most of the creative campaigning tool.
Campaigning with craftivism!
Craftivism is a creative way to make the issues that are important to you stand out. It can be a more gentle way into protest, but one that shows deep care and passion for the issue. Craftivism can be a great tool for those who are less able to attend rallies or marches, but some pieces of work created might also be a tool at events – I’ve seen some incredible banners as the result of crafty campaigners!
Craftivism is often about positivity and kindness, to yourself and to others. It is about investing time into and reflecting on the cause you feel so strongly about.
Some examples of craftivism might be yarn bombing, embroidery, origami or handmade jewellery.
Here are my tips for getting involved with craftivism:
A huge part of craftivism is exploring your creativity. How do you want to share your message?
Using crafts in your activism reflects the passion you feel and engaging with your creative side to make something that stands out and makes an impact. Adding your own flourishes and unique input to your creations, even if the idea or template is inspired by someone else, makes the message more personal and more powerful.
Knitted items by Nicky Fijalkowsra. Photo credit: Eleanor Bentall (rspb-images.com)
Do what you love
Already got a crafty skill? Are you a huge fan of collage art? Maybe knitting is your go-to chill out activity. Incorporate the things you love doing into your activism, as long as it isn’t taking away from your self-care.
Campaigning can be stressful and the weight of what might be at stake can weigh on us. Turning your activism into something fun and fulfilling that you already enjoy or feel skilled at can help balance that weight and be more relaxing for you.
Don’t be wasteful
Crafting can be a fantastic opportunity to use materials that might otherwise have ended up in the rubbish. Something I love to do personally is collaging. This means I can use old magazines, newspapers, and even leaflets that have been posted through my door to create something new. If it’s a sewing project you’re doing perhaps it’s time to have a look at which old clothes you’re not wearing anymore!
With other crafts it might just come down to thinking about what you already have and starting from there, instead of going out to buy new materials. Always be conscious of your crafting, look where you can get eco-friendly materials and remember to reuse and recycle any materials you have left at the end.
Green hearts created for the Show the Love campaign. Credit: Jenny Tweedie (rspb-images.com)
Do it with friends
Making banners and placards together was always one of my favourite things to do with some of my University societies. If you and your friends share strong feelings about saving nature, why not have a get together? Crafting doesn’t have to be a solo activity and it can be fun and energising to share skills, knowledge and perspectives about what you are creating.
If you have access to a space you can invite an even wider group to, you can reach even further. Some people looking to start campaigning on nature and climate are just looking for where to begin, and I know I have had some of the most empowering sessions crafting at events with people I’d never know otherwise.
You can find out more about the climate strike here
Read our other campaigning blogs:
Contacting your MSPsCampaigning with social media
It was a big challenge for us too, as Visual and Performing Arts department. The "craft+activism = Craftivism” course by Carole Loeffler was a project created by a group of Arcadia students. We collected all materials from the The Craftivist Collective Guide to Craftivism here: www.arcadia.edu/.../craftivism-course-encourages-activism-through-arts https://domyessay.today/
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