Call for Papers – Textile & Place

Exploring memory, social and political issues through textiles

From 23 to 24 April 2020, the Conference Textile and Place will take place in Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University with the aim of exploring politics through textiles. The debates will be built on the findings of the first conference also organised at MMU.

Mapping memories and places, the stories of trade and history transmission, migrations and cultural exchanges are some of the topics that will be raised during this exchange. The connections between communities, movements and alternative narratives through textile issues to be examined.

“We use the word politics as a broad term to indicate how textiles is implicated in particular places and is part of the relationships between groups or organisations and used to confront issues of power.  Textiles can fix us to a place and also be part of the process of making change.”

Invited keynote speakers are Dr. Fionna Barber, Jessica Hemmings, Assadour Markarov, and Vic McEwan.

If you wish to submit your paper, take into account some of the topics suggested:
  • Textiles as a medium of protest and activism.
  • Textile sites which represent migration and globalisation.
  • Narratives of community and social interaction encountered through textiles.
  • Responsibility, textiles and the places we live.

Submit your abstract and short bio by Friday, 8th november 2019.

The papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of TEXTILE: Cloth and Culture.WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE?
We welcome papers from, textile artists, artists exploring textiles among other materials, designers, academics, early career researchers, art, fashion and textile historians, curators and archivists, ECRs, PhD candidates.We also welcome short films and audio-visual work that explore textiles and place for our ‘Film as textile site’ space.

UDHR Quilt Project

Some time ago I participated in a craftivist project called UDHR Quilt that aims to promote human rights.

The #UDHRquilt Project is a collaborative craftivism initiative documenting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It uses craft as a tool and a strategy to celebrate the UHDR and raise awareness to the ways it is challenged—even violated—around the world today.

Central to the project are four large quilted wall hangings, each featuring 30 embroidered blocks representing the 30 Articles of the UDHR. The blocks critically engage with the Articles, celebrating the intrinsic meanings of this landmark document, now in its 70th year, while also drawing attention to local and global human rights issues.

My contribution was to embroider the Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Through my stitching work, I tried to highlight the rights of women and the LGBTIQ + collective.

The block that I embed is part of a quilt in which the rest of articles of the UDHR are included.

In the project we participate more than 130 people, mostly women, from around the world. It was a great honor for me.

Here you can see in detail my block, those of the other people and read more about the project and the Universal Declaration. 

Because never is late to raise your voice for human rights.

Is Craftivism bringing social change? Julia Feliz says no

Julia Feliz made a very interesting point about the limitations Craftivism has a way to bring social change, the real one. She also pointed out another issue I´ve never think about, craftivism comes mostly from white women, for she, the opressors side.

I understand many of the points she shared. We need to rethink and reevaluate the impact of craftivism actions. I guess if for Julia, craftivism is only a self-strategy to feel proud of your humanity and creativity.

Honestly, I don´t think so.

After years of experience working in the field of development and social change, I think there is space for every kind of activism. The one who promotes and stands for human rights, by using different instruments: crafts, banners, protests, occupations, etc. Or the one who is involved in a long -term perspective and implements concrete actions, let´s say projects on capacity building, advocacy, education, and a long etc. Both ways are rigth and both ways bring change in a way. And this is what Craftivism tries to do so, as this research looks for. In this case, crafts are only a language, an instrument.

An open approach to craftivism that involves both ways of looking for a better world. We migth add the individual one, because our daily choices are also political acts (bying natural textiles, buying from local and avoinding companies abusing labour rights, using public transport, and much more…). But let´s focus on the issue.

Betsy explained very well, and has always prioritise this point of view in her webpage as you can see if you read all her work.

Captura de pantalla 2018-04-07 a las 22.11.08

By brinding concrete change in people´s live or by raising awareness on others. Both are necessary and both are relevant. For me the pussyhat movement was a wonderful way of saying – here we are!.

An opportunity to show how many people are linked and shared same values. (My percection might be wrong). But, the same people who coordinated the pussyhat movement are now coordinating the Welcome Blanket a way to raise awareness about the abuse and injustice the wall between Mexico and the USA represent. And I see this action as an action supporting POC people.

Now, what I see as a point that we can really think and analyse is how POC people is involved in the craftivism movement. According to Julia they are not part of the movement only “fake beneficiaries”. Why they do not participate in? they do not feel invited? or it´s because their real needs are not reflected in the message. How can craftivism movement be more participatory?

I do not have many responses but I´m sure there is a way of bringing craftivism to POC people as Julia said. A way of promoting a way to promote ownership of craftivism as strategy to let them voices heard.

At Dialogue Café, we organised a wonderful session on Craftivism (you can listen) in the framework of the Global Exchange of Crafts Makers.

Captura de pantalla 2018-04-07 a las 22.20.44

Any thought to be shared around?


Craft + Activismo

From Spain, Laura Cadenas, IT Fashion makes a review of craftivism concept and some of the most relevant initiatives launched by Betsy Greer (Founder of Craftivism concept) and the Craftivist Collective.

Last but not least, launchs a reflection on how craftivism can promote a more sustainable fashion through mini-statements and much more.

“Tu hacer es tu voz. Úsala bien”, dicen los craftivistas. ¿Te atreves a usarla?

Provocative Fiber Art Made by Women

THE ANCIENT GREEKS put fate in the hands of three old women, goddesses who spun the thread of life, twisted it to allot each individual a measure of joy or sorrow, and wielded the “abhorred shears” (in the poet John Milton’s phrase) that could cut life short. The Greeks knew something that artists, along with a new generation of “craftivists” (people combining craft with activism), are rediscovering — that fiber (woven, knitted, braided, quilted, crocheted, embroidered) can be an expressive medium, one more powerful, perhaps, for its ubiquity. Textiles, after all, accompany us on nearly every step of life: We are born and swaddled, buried in shrouds;

An article written by LESLIE CAMHI published on MARCH 14, 2018 at the and shared at Craftivism Lab.

This article makes a review of relevant artists using textiles to speak out. From Albers to the Pussy Hat initiative, you will find several references to wonderful experiences and stories handmade by women.

Some of the Most Provocative Political Art is Made With Fibers

The Greeks knew something that artists, along with a new generation of “craftivists” (people combining craft with activism), are rediscovering — that fiber (woven, knitted, braided, quilted, crocheted, embroidered) can be an expressive medium, one more powerful, perhaps, for its ubiquity. Textiles, after all, accompany us on nearly every step of life: We are born and swaddled, buried in shrouds; most of us are even conceived between sheets.


Sophia Narrett, a recent Rhode Island School of Design graduate whose solo exhibition of embroideries opens at Brooklyn’s BRIC Arts/Media center in May, wrote in an email, “When an object is developed by human hands for hundreds of hours, it leaves a quality in the surface that can be sensed.”

How needlework has become part of the feminist movement by Mouncej1

An interesting article by mouncej1!

Needle in a Fabric Stack

In 1718, women in Pennsylvania were only able to own and manage property if their husbands were incapacitated. This remained true until 1839, when Mississippi was the first state to allow women to own property in their name. In 1878, women were allowed to attend university and obtain a degree. In 1844, women could retain their wages and finally had the right to a separate economy. In 1845, women were allowed to file patents. In 1848, women could sign their own contracts, which meant they would not be held accountable for their husbands debts. On August 18, 1920, women were given the right to vote. In 1923, a bill was passed that allowed women to be able to petition for divorce from their husbands. It was only acceptable for women to wear pants starting in the 1930s, though women strutted the streets in trousers during the 20s. In the 1960s…

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