I was scrolling through the Twittersphere earlier today and came across a link to journalist/blogger/freelancer Emily Matchar’s article, “Knitting at Occupy Wall Street.” It’s a short piece that begins with a description on how some of the protesters on Wall Street are knitting or crocheting, right there on the street (gasp!), and then goes on to postulate about why knitting has become a symbol of counter-culture activism. Given the length of the article, Ms. Matchar didn’t include some basics about the years-old resurgence of knitting, etc., as art, political statement, and in some cases, feminism, so I’ll list a few here:
- Anything written by Debbie Stoller;
- Excellent observations and summations at craft + activism = craftivism;
- There’s a lot more to yarn bombing than the Wall Street bull, y’know;
- Can’t even begin to list all of the articles about artists who use yarn as their medium of choice… I liked this one;
- If you really want to blow your mind, drink a couple cups of coffee and delve into this;
- I’ll never forget when this event was written up in every knitting magazine I read that year.
Now I’m not castigating Ms. Matchar for not doing her homework on Fiber Arts and Politics of the 21st Century . Historically, all forms of craft, art, and craft as art have found a home during times of unrest – not exactly a new concept, right? And while those knitters on Wall Street may be making their statements against corporate greed with yarn and needles and hooks, let’s keep in mind that maybe, there is no political statement being made. No motive at all… except to finish some project or another… or to keep fellow protesters’ heads warm, as the article states. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to express one’s views than through art and craft – I particularly like picturing these knitters making soft, warm, comforting items in the midst of all that is harsh and cold. And if that’s the image they’re trying to convey, fantastic, I’m with them. But there’s so much more to crafting-in-public than just being political, or making an artistic statement. Ask us. We’ll tell you exactly why we do it.