Thursday, February 23, 2006

Phoebe Connelly looks at the political potential (or not) of crafting:

Is the resurgent craft movement a new form of consumption, albeit with more felt and assembly, or is it a bold political act that challenges the way we think about gender roles and how we engage with our commodified world?

Oh jeez. It's an ethic people, tied to a culture that is supposed to care about things like politics and civil rights and all that. No, "an iPod cozy alone isn't going to protect the right to an abortion," but the drive that goes into making those things - and choosing to make them, maybe instead of, or at least in addition to, dropping a ton of money at the mall - is related to the drive to organize. Like crowds of kids at punk and hardcore shows, people involved in these communities are in a position to be politicized, because the arts and crafts and music they are involved with have roots in political engagement. The realization that you can literally Do It Yourself can be (though is obviously not always) revolutionary. This is not so complicated. What is complicated, is figuring out how to get these craftsters to take the next step. Maybe they can knit a giant straightjacket for the White House. Maybe they can be more visible or active in giving a shit about recycling, or small businesses. Hey, maybe they can be on the frontlines of DIY abortion.

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