Launched in March 2020, STITCH & RESIST was originally designed to encourage community groups and organisations to host craftivism workshops that would address specific issues. However, in response to the coronavirus pandemic we decided to reimagine the project and broaden its goals.
For us at the Centre of Democracy, the disruptions to daily civic life caused by the global outbreak of COVID-19 raise an important question: How can we continue to resist injustice, engage in the everyday practice of democracy, and take care of our wellbeing in the midst of a pandemic?
STITCH & RESIST is a participatory craftivism project designed to address this urgent question by exploring how creativity can serve to help us stay well, stay connected and stay actively engaged with the causes we care about.
Centred around the beginner-friendly medium of cross-stitching, this project provides individual changemakers, community groups and organisations with the digital tools and resources necessary to create textile art that addresses the ideas, hopes and concerns of its makers.
The Centre of Democracy will collect images of these hand-stitched works (submitted via this website by participants) and create a digital gallery that documents the issues and concerns of the time in which we now find ourselves.
In 2021 the Centre of Democracy will curate a public exhibition that showcases a selection of the work created as part of the STITCH & RESIST project.
Sharing your cross stitch pieces with others is an important way of raising awareness of, and encouraging conversation about, the issues that matter to you. By submitting your work to the STITCH & RESIST gallery, your story will be shared and amplified for a long time to come.
Existing at the intersection of craft and activism, craftivism is a form of nonviolent social activism that seeks to bring about positive social change.
Through the act of craftivism we hope to:
make connections and community
make political statements
make important cultural objects
make a difference
and make a change
- Facilitate and foster active citizenship while building communities.
- Provide opportunities for community and strengthen social connection.
- Hold space for embodied action and gentle, non-violent activism.
- Provide safe spaces for discussion and exploration of political issues.
- Contribute to well-being, self-care, and the development of new skills.
- Engage the wider public in alternative modes of active citizenship.
- Create politically engaged, contemporary cultural artefacts in cross-stitch.
- Create an extensive digital archive of the cross-stitch works.
- Develop an exhibition that showcases the completed works. (TBC early 2021)
- The Centre of Democracy hopes to engage a diverse and inclusive cross-section of the community.
- Artists and amateurs
- Designers and craftspeople
- Leaders and members of diverse communities
- Activists and individuals wishing to be a part of positive social change but unsure how to be involved
- Must feature a text-based activist/political statement.
- Must be a form of cross-stitch.
- Any base material can be used- think about its materiality and other potential connotations.