The following craftivism manifesto was created by Betsy Greer and 12 other craftivists to express their thoughts around the purpose of craftivism. The original (an image, not screen reader compatible, reproduced at the end of the page) can be found on Betsy’s website, link here.
A craftivist is anyone who uses their craft to help the greater good. Your craft is your voice. Craftivism is about raising consciousness, creating a better world stitch by stitch, and things made by hand, by a person. It’s also about sharing ideas with others in a way that is welcoming, not dividing, and celebrating traditional skills in new ways. As well as remembering and respecting the makers that came before us, adding to the dialogue and leaving something for the next generations of craftivists. Craftivism is about creating wider conversations about uncomfortable social issues. A craftivist is anyone who uses their craft to help the greater good or in resistance to a greater societal ill. A single individual crafting can make a difference. Or they can craft together and benefit from the fellowship of other crafters. Craftivists open minds and hearts. It’s about connecting through, by, and with craft and creating a more compassionate community. Craftivists are makers, hackers, menders and modifiers of material things. My craftivism can be different than your craftivism, and that’s okay. Craftivism encourages people to challenge injustice and find creative solutions to conflict. Craftivism does not expect you to come with skills but with willingness. Craft is often seen as a benign, passive and (predominantly female) domestic pastime. By taking these stereotypes and subverting them, craftivists are making craft a useful tool of peaceful, proactive and political protest. Craftivism is a way to make big issues tangible, so that we can build a better world together. Craftivism is about reclaiming the slow process of creating by hand, with thought, with purpose, and with love. Because activism, whether through craft or any other means, is done by individuals, not machines. Craftivism is a tool to instantly create a small part of the warmer, friendlier and more colourful world we hope to see in the future.
This manifesto was written by Mary Callahan Baumstark, Ele Carpenter, Joanna Davies, Tamare Gooderham, Betsy Greer, Bridget Harvey, Rebecca Marsh, Manna Marvel, Ari Miller, Iris Nectar, Abi Nielsen, Elin Poppelin, and Cat Varvis.