Monday, February 21, 2011

Craftivism and Crafting for Charity

Craftivism (or activism in the form of making crafts) is something that seems to be increasing in popularity in line with the resurgence in crafts over the past decade.  It's something that I've dabbled with over the years.  Baking and gifting them all to random people that I meet around London.  Baking to raise money for Haiti that was done in conjunction with I Knit London.  As you can see to date they've been baking related but I wanted to dabble in other crafts, particularly quilting since it is my recently discovered passion.  I've read about do. Good Stitches over at Rachel Hauser's blog (Stitched in Colour) where they have a virtual quilting circle that then makes a quilt to donate to a charity of the circle's choice.  I thought this was a wonderful idea but noticed they're mostly American based.  Once my PhD and other academic work settles down a bit, I'd love to help set up or be involved in a UK based version...  Any interest?

Anyways, the reason all of this is at the forefront of my mind tonight is that earlier this evening I attended the Shoreditch Sisters W.I.  meeting where they were stitching vulvas.  These are 7" square patches that will then be turned into a pieced top (perhaps a quilt?) that will raise awareness for the charity FORWARD (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development).  FORWARD's aim is to protect the sexual rights of African girls and women, particularly against female genital mutilation (FGM). A spokesperson from the charity told us that 24,000 women are subjected to FGM each year in the UK (where it is illegal) and the figures are c.3 million across the world.  This is a subject that needs consideration and for the public profile to be raised, since it often lurks in the realm of the unmentionable. The finished pieced top will be displayed at Coco de Mer a women's luxury sex-shop filled with delights.  There will be a launch event with the Shoreditch Sisters, FORWARD and other charities that tackle FGM present.  The date is yet to be announced...

I'm afraid I don't have any photos of the patch that I made because I already donated it to the Shoreditch Sisters ready for the quilt.  Mine featured a touch of embroidery (stem stitch and chain stitch but neither brilliantly done) but was mainly some applique with fronds of lace. 

However should any of you loverly blog folk want to sew, embroider or knit or other wise craft a 7x7 inch patch featuring a vulva for the Shoreditch Sisters W.I. Embroideries Project, they can be posted to :

5a Gransden Avenue
E8 3QA
United Kingdom

For more information on the project please visit the Shoreditch Sisters blog and FORWARD.

Oh... in the process of writing this blog post, I was pootling around Facebook and have discovered the London-based Craftivist Collective, which clearly needs further investigation.


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