Craftivism in action

Unless you've been living in a bubble, you will have seen a lot of pink "pussyhat" coverage in the media over the last week - and also the various controversies around the hat and the Women's Marches they were made for. Everyone had an opinion - even George Takei posted about one yarn shop's response to the marches!

© Photo collage of FO project photos, compiled by Casey - Ravelry.com

I'm not a very 'politically active' person and while I was aware that various friends were making hats and that there was going to be a march on Washington (and elsewhere) to protest Trump's inauguration and what this could mean for women's rights, I didn't really grasp the importance (or scale) of what was happening. Then posts from the marches started popping up on my Facebook feed (I've included some of their photos here, with permission). Reading the commentary and reactions, and watching the news, it started to feel like something quite momentous was taking place.

Cal Patch (left) marched on Washington - photo © Cal Patch of Hodge Podge Farm, on Flickr
Figures* for the Women's Marches are in - they were held in 914 cities in over 60 countries, and it's understood that almost 5 million people participated, worldwide. Political scientists who have been analysing the figures say there is no doubt that this was the largest single-day event in US history - on Saturday 21st January, at least 1 out of every 100 Americans participated in a Women's March which is the largest mass mobilisation in US history. Whatever your personal opinions about the marches and the politics behind them, it's impossible not to be impressed.

The Yarn in the City girls marched in London - ©Yarn in the City 
The sea of pink 'pussy' hats made a tremendous visual statement - The New Yorker called them "a material-cultural phenomenon that could end up earning a lasting place in the annals of political symbolism" and said "the fact that [protestors made them] by hand, using traditional skills and often tweaking or embellishing the original patterns, contributes to the hat’s status as an individual, personalized act of labor dedicated to communal protest". The hats have subsequently made it onto the cover of both TIME and The New Yorker magazines

Find Kate's incredibly moving blog post (written after taking her daughter on the march) here - © A Playful Day

If this isn't Craftivism in action, I don't know what is! For more information on this project and on Craftivism in general, these resources will get you started: 

*Source: https://www.womensmarch.com/sisters, Financial Times, Washington Post and lots of other linked articles which can be found at the foot of this post

7 comments

  1. Thanks for this post. I've found it eerily quiet on the vast majority of fiber blogs I visit, which I assume is about not injecting anything potentially political or controversial into the safe world of craft. But for a good lot of us, the safe world is in desperate danger from populism and demagoguery. I have a hard time seeing the womens marches around the world on the 21st as anything but a beautiful uprising of dedication to a just world and belief that all of us, as equally valuable people, can and must contribute to that.

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    1. It took me a few days to think about my own response to everything that's going on and to formulate some words - I wanted the post to be a pointer, so that people who *are* living in a bubble could get a glimpse and be able to find more info. I feel that we are living in important times - politically and as a collective consciousness.

      I happened to start reading 'Rise Sister Rise' a few days before the marches (which, as I said, I wasn't especially knowledgable of) so seeing my sisters rising in such a literal way felt especially meaningful.

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    2. Thanks for the book tip- things here in the US are pretty scary, and there's no question those who want a different, better path have a long, hard road ahead. Keeping perspective and balance along the way is another part of the struggle. Crochet will help, but at some point, I'll stop needing to make hats and the need for balance and inspiration will still be there, and we'll need all the pointers we can get.

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  2. Mr. President has woken up quite some "sleeping dogs". If this isn't a good sign I don't know what is. We are living in times of big changes. If this isn't good I don't know what is.
    Don't get me wrong: It's important to march for human rights. These protesters make me hopeful.

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    1. I can feel the changes, for sure. The established way has now become so abhorrent to so many that it is indeed awakening something. A quote from Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell - "Her rising started a (r)evolution."

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  3. That mosaic is amazing, thanks for sharing it. I'd seen my instagram & fb feed filling up wth hat making in the run up to the march too. I found all the images on TV of the marches all over the world incredibly moving and inspiring. Since then I've heard a lot of negative, "what's the point' and 'no clear message' type criticism which is sad. The fact SO many people felt mobilised to say "enough" and "we need another way' makes me more hopeful for the future than the news indicates I should be.

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    1. Yes!!!! Totally agree. I just shared a post from Rebecca Campbell on my personal facebook feed, if this link works, have a look - if not, go to Rebecca Campbell's profile and search for it. https://www.facebook.com/rebeccathoughts/posts/1409900409044198:0

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