July's theme at Knitty City is Craftivism! As you may well know, we have been huge supporters of the Pussyhat Project and we are also supporting the Welcome Blanket Project. With our social and political stance, we foster community and hope to create positive social change. Many a crafter has flocked to Knitty City to knit, crochet, weave or sew in order to make their voices heard.
But what is this exactly what we have been doing? Together with you, our community, we would like to have a meaningful discussion about "Craftivism". Help us define what Craftivism is, let us come together and talk about why we feel compelled to use our craft in order to make Social Change happen.
Craftivism Panel with Sandra Markus and Pink Persistence
Join us on Thursday, July 6th from 6-8pm for an evening of meaningful discussion regarding the intersection of craft and social activism aka Craftivism. This event will feature Sandra Markus, Professor at FIT and Pink Persistence, a local activist group.
Sandra will discuss the history of Craftivism and Pink Persistence will discuss their current advocacy work. In this blogpost we would like to give you a short introduction to both Sandra Markus and Pink Persistence.
Q and A with Sandra Markus Professor in the School of Art and Design at FIT
Q: Who are you?
A: Hi, I am an Upper West Sider but born and raised in Cananda. And yes, I do still have my Canadian passport. I am a Professor in the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I teach digital literacies for designers, helping students to navigate the digital environment. There is a design activism component to the course, and Pink Persistence came to the class this Spring to talk about their work.
Q: What do you do?
A: I am currently working on my doctoral degree at Teachers College, Columbia University where my research looks at Craftivism in the digital age.
Q: What is your purpose and message?
A: I am hoping that women use craft to advocate for social and political change. Knitty City has been really instrumental in supporting women being crafty, blending activism with craft.
Q: What is your purpose and message?
A: I think craft is very connected to feminism. I grew up during the second-wave of feminism in the 60s, and have always had a very complicated relationship with crafting. Although I have always been very passionate about making, it never seemed "important" enough. I have changed my perspective on this and believe that crafting and making are important ways to have your voice heard.
Q: What craft do you do? Crochet, knitting, spinning or weaving?
A: I really love all types of craft. I just spent last weekend at a rug weaving workshop with Crispina French which was awesome. But my main craft is sewing, and I have taught that at FIT for almost two decades. I would say knitting is a newer interest, but I am really trying to learn how to knit well. Growing up in Canada, everyone knew how to knit and my mother was a particularly gifted knitter. Writing about the history of activist knitting has really inspired a renewed interest.
Pink Persistence NY
We would like to share with you who Pink Persistence is in their own words:
"Pink Persistence , a "makers" collective found by a group of New York City women, creates and shares with others at no cost the means for impactful, visual protest. We utilize many different kinds of materials, including yarn (knitting and crocheting, fabric, paper, ribbon and whatever strikes our fancy.
We give everything we make without asking for compensation - usually on the streets of NYC; our aim is to produce creative and visually impactful symbols and make them available to anyone who wishes to utilize them."