Comics Craftivism – feminist handmade comics in a Swedish context
This event is part of the Oxford Comics Network Seminar Series.
Thursday 9 February 2023 (Week 4), 5.30pm-6.45pm GMT
Online – registration required
This event is free, but registration is required.
Please sign up via Eventbrite or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Activism, just as feminism, targets change, and can be regarded as action intended to create social, political, economic or environmental change. When comics are used, the term comics activism is appropriate, meaning ‘the practice of creating comics in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue’ (Lund 2018, 42), or more generally, in order to work for change. The comics medium offers many possible ways of varying form and content, and since some years embroidered comics are on the scene. This phenomenon can be regarded as comics craftivism. Although similar to drawings, they are sewn by needle and thread, and often thematise topics connected to craftivism’s ideas concerning ‘raising consciousness, creating a better world stitch by stitch’, and ‘wider conversations about uncomfortable issues’ (Read more about Craftivism Manifesto here). Comics artists are posting craftivist embroideries thematising environmental, feminist and other political issues on Instagram. This talk argues that craftivist comics artists are engaged in the politics of the handmade and will give some examples from the Swedish context.
Anna Nordenstam is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Margareta Wallin Wictorin is Reader in Art History and Visual Studies and Senior Lecturer in Culture Studies at Karlstad University, Sweden.
Together they have published articles such as ”Comics craftivism: embroidery in contemporary Swedish feminist comics” Journal of Graphic Novel and Comics, https://doi.org/10.1080/ 21504857.2020.1870152 (2021) and ”Climate activism: Contemporary Swedish Feminist Comics”. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, Published online: 31 May 2022. https://doi.org/10.1080/21504857.2022.2075413
They are two of the editors of Comic Art and Feminism in the Baltic Sea Region. Transnational Perspectives. Routledge, 2021.
Find out more about the Oxford Comics Network here.