top of page

Craft Futures

From Craftivism
to Craftwashing

Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch

The authors examine craft within the conditions of extreme material and economic disparity; a renewed focus on labour and materiality in contemporary art and museums; the political dimensions of craftivism, neoliberalism, and state power; efforts toward urban renewal and sustainability; the use of digital technologies; and craft’s connections to race, cultural identity and sovereignty in texts that criss-cross five continents. They claim contemporary craft as a dynamic critical position for understanding the most immediate political and aesthetic issues of our time.

Anthea Black

Artist, writer, and art publisher. Their studio work takes the form of prints, limited edition publications, artist-books, drawing, textiles, video and performance to address feminist, queer and trans archives and embodiment.

Nicole Burisch


Curator, critic, and cultural worker. Her projects focus on discourses of craft, feminism, performance, publishing, labour, and materiality within contemporary art.

"We take the position that craft is not a progressive political movement; like other forms of cultural production, it is embedded within broader histories and systems."


Sabrina Gschwandtner - Wartime Knitting Circle (2007)


Revolutionary Knitting Circle Knit-Out in the Park. Peace Knits banner on display. Part of the Revolutionary Knitting Tour. August 21, 2004.

Pink M.24 Chaffee Tank by Marianne Jørgensen


You said you set up Craftivist Collective because you felt you didn’t fit in with other activist groups. What kinds of people are Craftivists?

A mixed bunch. Many are really shy crafty people who care about issues like global poverty but may be scared to go on a march. This is where we focus our energy – we don’t try to preach to the converted. Others are burnt out activists who want to chill out and get their message across in a different way. And some Craftivists are people who just want to meet new people.

(Sarah Corbett, founder of Craftivist Collective)


Craftin’ Outlaws Holiday 2015 craft fair.


Craft as an ideology,

a signifier of our political

and personal values.

Fashion Industry

Levi’s® Made & Crafted®


H&M’s wildflower collection

Free People


Anthropologie Store Display Designs

Toms Shoes Photo Marketing

Screen Shot 2023-03-19 at 7.10.50 PM.png

Modern Craft

‘more personal, spiritual form…directed towards the improvement of the self,’

‘countercultural craft,
explicitly antagonistic to the mainstream.'

Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting

Gestures of Resistance