Dementia Craftivists are people who are living with dementia who are using their creations to make supportive and enjoyable links across communities. Our project is all about the pride in creating something yourself from scratch (whether it’s knitting, painting, song or play-writing, poetry, woodwork, or much more)… while sending, if you so choose, your own message to others.
In sharing the things we are producing with the wider world, we are demonstrating the talents, skills and resilience of people with dementia. Our overarching message is ‘We Can!’
Some of the Craftivists are helping others to learn new skills, through kits, demonstrations or tutorials. This too is sending out that message of ‘You Can Too’ loud and clear. We want to mobilise as many people as possible to get involved.
Some of the things we are making have our own messages on them too. In this way, the project can be seen as a very democratic process of ‘gentle protest’. Some of us are leaving them to be found by anyone… on a bench or on a beach. We have produced labels with the Craftivists logo (see below) which explain that this creation has been made by a person with dementia.
The wonderful Dementia Craftivists took off during the first lockdown and quickly turned into a very creative network – running online art and craft sessions for each other, and using their creations to send messages to the wider world. Here you can watch a film made by Philly Hare and Gail Gregory which looks at what the Craftivists have achieved, as well as featuring many of their wonderful creations. There is also a discussion with Gail and a number of her fellow Craftivists.
You can watch it below:
The ‘Me, Myself and I’ group display their crafts