“My Craftivism” is a series: We’re always excited to hear about & spotlight craftivism projects that fellow craftivistas are involved in. In this series we hope to offer a platform to craftivists to show and speak about their latest craftivism activities. If you would like to share your own craftivism piece or event with us please do email us at Craftivist.Collective@gmail.com for more info 🙂
Name: Frida Arnqvist Engström. Twitter: @fridaaEngstrom
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Craft of choice: Cross stitch /stitches
How did you get into craftivism? I am a Swedish journalist and blogger focusing mostly on craftivism in a theoretical level. I got in contact with craftivism through my interest in the movement itself years ago and have been following it and writing about it for many years. I am now writing a book about how to change the world with craft. I support the idea of making change with your hands, and since I enjoy cross stitches myself I found it quite easy to go from theory to practice on this one.
Tell us about your craftivism project / event – what did you do, and how, and why? I am of course as many of us interested in fashion and clothes, but got real horrified to learn about the collapse of the garment making factory in Bangladesh. It was an easy task finding ways to make a mini protest banner out of that since I strongly reject the working conditions of these sweatshops. I am really fond of the small format of the banner, since you have to get real close to see the message. I therefore chose a message that is descriptive, it is important to me to tell facts and share information. I chose to stitch the horrid information that more than 300 garment workers have been burnt alive in factory fires since 2000. In respect of the workers and in protest of the conditions I hope that a mini protest banner will make some difference in some of the minds passing it on the streets of Stockholm.
What response have you got / do you hope to get from your craftivism? I have not heard strong enough reactions of this accident and these conditions in Stockholm; I hope to make a difference by telling facts about the situation of these garment factories. My goal as writing and stitching person is to combine the information and make the package as startling as I can.
What were you thinking about while you were stitching? Since I am in the middle of stitching, I think a lot about the fashion industry and how we are all playing a part of it in ways of buying clothes of the big companies. We need to set the standards higher and perhaps focusing more of production closer to us. Or perhaps do it ourselves. In making the mini protest banner I got more focused on this cause, and am making plans of where the message would be most efficient in the streets close to me.
How do you think that craftivism can change the world? Awareness in all kind is a way forward. We tend to get awareness in different ways; craftivism to me is a passionate and a way of expressing your commitment and opinions. In being brave to take the expression out on the street both encourage yourself to make even more difference, and is of course a way forward reaching out to others in society. In sharing our opinions in a peaceful way we create awareness, and that can change a lot in our fellow humans and the world in general. Do not underestimate the power of many peaceful protests.
Anything else we should know about? Beware Stockholm! I have not yet decided where to put my mini protest banner, of course there will be in an awesome place. And if you see me on the streets of Stockholm, join in!
Thanks Frida for your time and thoughtful words. If you would like to write a guest post for the Craftivist Collective blog, please email us at Craftivist.firstname.lastname@example.org
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