Craftivism: Spreading the Shout-Up! Message Through Craft
On Monday, The Cumberland Arms in Newcastle’s Ouseburn Valley, played host to Craftivism inspired by Shout-Up! – an event organised by Nasty Women North East who, for those that aren’t aware, are a collective of North East women standing in solidarity with the global art, activism and fundraising movement of the same name. This was the first of what organisers, Lady Kitt and Michaela Wetherell, hope to be a regular meet-up taking place on the first and third Monday of every month.
On the event’s Facebook page, Craftivism inspired by Shout-Up! is described as an ‘informal drop-in craftivism session’, which aims to create ‘crafty ways’ of sharing information about the Shout-Up! campaign. Any creations made by crafters will then be left around Ouseburn as a way of spreading the word about the campaign, which aims to tackle sexual harassment in the night-time economy in Newcastle.
Upon arriving at The Cumberland Arms, crafters were met by the warm smiles of Kitt and Michaela. Wearing a black jumper with hot pink lips, Kitt was most certainly on-brand, and was in the middle of sewing the green lips of the Shout-Up! logo onto a piece of fabric. The group was made up of two other women, who were both local to the Ouseburn, and who were in the midst of drawing and sewing.
With the roaring fire in the background, and a small pile of craft books to flick through, the women in attendance listened intently as Kitt and Michaela introduced everyone to the concept of crafting + activism. Despite professing herself as someone who “isn’t at allcrafty”, Michaela was doing a fine job of stitching the words ‘Shout-Up!’ onto a piece of black felt. Their words were clearly inspiring, as the lady to the right picked up some felt of her own, with others choosing to doodle on paper or stitch to their heart’s content.
With all of the women chatting away amongst themselves, listening to and sharing stories of causes they believed in, and discussing the importance of the Shout-Up! campaign, there was an overwhelming sense of pride in the room: of having met such an awesome bunch of ‘nasty women’; of being involved in Shout-Up! and, most importantly, of using arts and crafts to spread a little positivity…
To learn more about the Shout-Up! campaign, please visit www.shoutup.org. Don’t forget to join the Nasty Women gang on the first and third Monday of the month at The Cumberland Arms, and spread the word about the campaign via craft.