.

.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Responses to Craftivism & Developmental Assets

In preparation for our class with Felice Salmon, please post your paragraph-long questions or comments for each of the assigned readings here. Be sure to publish them before class on Tuesday.

14 comments:

  1. Craftivism is a form of activism that is much more time consuming and labor intensive in the planning and preparing stages than most forms of activism but seems to involve less human presence in the presentation of its message. How might this affect how acts of craftivism are received? My concern is that the lack of human presence accompanying the message may make it easier to overlook.

    How does socioeconomic status affect a child's likelihood of being exposed to these developmental assets? It seems like children from wealthier households tend to have more parental support and attend schools that are better funded but less privileged children have more access to programs specifically designed to increase access to these developmental assets.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Based on this article, practitioners of Craftivism are committed to a positive approach to raising awareness. This approach seems to required a confidence that people who see/encounter Craftivist objects will then "take ownership in their own time to consider how they can fight for a just world." (347) This approach is the complete opposite of the electronic letter-writing campaigns the article mentions. Craftivism requires more committed time both from the maker of the Craftivist object AND of the viewer whom the object is intended to act upon.

    What enables a Craftivist to gain this confidence, to believe that people will put in the time to research an issue, form an opinion, and take action?

    ReplyDelete
  3. For someone like me, who has precious little energy for coordinating public demonstrations and recruiting others to join the campaign, craftivism seems to be a perfect alternative to traditional activism. It allows one to get involved in the campaign for social justice and universal human rights, but in a more personal way. Surely, most of us can agree that the world needs to hear more positive messages, but my concern, broadly stated, is whether or not craftivism is enough to bring about real change. Mini protest banners make for a cute photo op, but how many people will take its message to heart? Sometimes, I feel the only way to get people to see that change is needed is to get up close and personal - which is easier for some people to do than others. I like the idea of craftivism, and I support craftivism, but I think we also have to seriously consider whether or not it has a great enough impact if we are to really see change for the better.

    The thing that stood out the most to me in the second article was the importance of adults having a positive role and being actively engaged in young people’s lives. It is a reminder that adults have a responsibility to look after the young people in their community and help them to realize their own potential. Children are people too; they just happen to be developing into adults and need direction from - surprise - people who are already adults. Why is it that so many people talk down to them and pretend they aren’t? How does this attitude rob young people of the developmental assets they need?

    ReplyDelete
  4. From "Using Search Institute's Developmental Assets to Foster Healthy Kids and Healthy Civic Life"

    The title introduces two primary topics of this article (healthy kids and healthy civic life) and the author weaves a third topic throughout (improved human relations bring people together in effective organizing efforts AND are important to successful human development). All of this makes perfect sense to me but it also caused me to think a lot about rural communities that have diminishing populations of children and young people. I wonder how difficult it is/would be to have a healthy "civic life" without children? How important to a healthy civic life is it to feel we are creating a world in which others will live longer than we will?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was most surprised about Craftivism's commitment to reminding people to question rather than serving as a direct call to action. How would the nature of Craftivism be changed if more Craftivists did use direct messages that were telling rather than asking? What would make this approach more or less effective?

    I think at the end of the Developmental Assets article I am most curious about why people would resist any of these concepts. Does it boil down to how people are taught to think about civic engagement and community building? If there are people who don't automatically see the value in the developmental assets, how else can it be presented to encourage more of this type of thing?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Craftivism is supposed to bring small victories to those who make them but i feel like they aren't as noticed as public demonstrations. Those who demonstrate and coordinate everything just right get the opportunity to reap the rewards of being present when onlookers see what they are doing as well as being able to educate those who ask. With craftivism it may be noticed by a couple inivididuals who will take pictures with it and post it to social media but not a lot will continue to think on its message for longer than a couple minutes. Would putting a demonstration and a craftivism thing together benefit everyone for the most part?

    In the Developmental Assets article it can easily be noted the author is very adamant on helping kids develop as well as community outreach as a whole. How can we get other adults to enter into a childs life to help them grow? Schedules can conflict and many may not want to interject themselves into the lives of others.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was struck by a quote from one of the authors of “The Craftivist Collective Guide to Craftivism,” Sarah Corbett, who writes that she was exhausted as an activist, that “often you are aiming for impossible things, so you never feel that you have succeeded” (345). In contrast, craftivism focuses on small-scale actions and on goals that are more easily achievable (if not always measurable). I identify so well with her statement. Activism IS exhausting. I hear it and I see it and I feel it. By contrast, working on a small piece of craft—to be left in a public space or gifted to someone—provides a concrete goal that can be reached, that can feel satisfying. I believe we need to feel satisfied at least once in a while.

    Although I found the second piece to be full of uninspiring language, I love the ideas at the core of it: the need to foster civic participation, community engagement, and collaborative decision-making, especially among younger people. This emphasis on community building and development is so very far from most things I’ve come to see as central to life in the U.S.: individualism, social advancement, the pursuit of the American Dream. This emphasis on community is tremendously gratifying and it reminds me of the very different circumstances under which I grew up: a socialist society trying to build Communism. Surely, there is beautiful irony and beautiful truth there too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. While reading the article, I was thinking about the "unlearn fear + hate" project activity, where anyone on campus could cross-stitch the message that we've come to know and love within this community. So far, I've seen this message spray-painted, big and small, on halo on the side of 21C, and spread throughout newspaper articles. The act of cross-stitching the message is different than the other approaches because the person who is created the craft is spending more time on creating the piece, which allows for reflection and a greater care for the message to be clear. Messages that are cross-stitched definitely show the care that was put to it, especially if it is embellished with flowers or other surrounding designs. The message is now presented in a more peaceful, approachable way. Craftivism allows these different approaches to activist messages, that is needed to foster the care of the activist while allowing the viewer to take time to view and appreciate the art/message as well.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How do these assets both internal and external compare to each other? Do certain categories carry more or less significance in terms of how a child develops universally or if not what determines the individual child’s greatest and least important category? Is there one category that is more important to nurture than others and why is that?

    I really appreciated the idea of craftivism and the way it utilized a peaceful concept of crafting to communicate an important issue. I liked the way the article said; “There is not usually a direct call to action contained in the message but, rather, an urge to consider the issue in question more actively,” (346). Therefore I was wondering how we could and I’m sure already are using this idea in our project and how it has manifested in other projects seen elsewhere. Also, why does this concept seem a better alternative for these particular issues versus other issues?

    ReplyDelete

  10. After reading the piece about craftivism, I'm definitely intrigued by the group's dedication to using small artworks to speak towards a larger political statement. It reminds me of all the Unlearn Fear + Hate projects and how much they have impacted the Lexington community, as well as places beyond this city. My question is are these mini banners the craftivists have made leaving a lasting impact on the people who see them? And does getting involved with projects like these, rather than just seeing them, make people more likely to really think about the positive impact?

    The essay on developmental assets seems to focus on the importance of having adults and role models in our lives when we are younger. In my life, I've found that we often forget that we were all kids at some point, no matter how long ago. I believe this author is making a statement about how they think people should think about that and work to help children obtain these developmental assets so that they can also eventually become adults. My question is how does it affect children if they aren't exposed to certain developmental assets? For example, if a child misses out on what it feels like to have a sense of belonging, or at least one good, healthy friendship, how can that affect their views as a teen and as an adult?

    ReplyDelete
  11. The idea of peaceful protest/activism via craft is both inspiring and uplifting. The recent “punch a Nazi in the face” mantra of liberal activists is understandable but also confusing and disheartening for me, as my values certainly align with liberal ideology but I consider myself to be a pacifist of sorts. I also worry of the effectiveness of public marches and “clicktivism,” yet I find this is the mode of dissent I utilize most often. My question, then, concerns the effectiveness of craftivism: have there been noticeable, positive changes in the world due to these efforts, or will more time and increased involvement be necessary to see results?

    In the piece from the Therapeutic Care Journal, much talk is made of using community resources. Obviously, such resources vary greatly from community to community, and funding can come from any number of sources. To what degree are public funds (i.e. taxpayer-based) made available for communities representative of a low socioeconomic status? Perhaps I’m getting at a larger (and probably obvious) question here: what are the obstacles in engaging youth of underprivileged communities as opposed to, say, an upper-middle-class suburb?

    ReplyDelete
  12. The article about craftivism makes it a point to be centrally about subtly changing the minds of everyday people through a slow/non violent method, kind've like a company branding itself in so many places that the idea just becomes normal to your mind. The author briefly touches on how sometimes activists are fighting for things that are impossible. To that I ask, even with Craftivism is it possible to quantify how the art is affecting the minds of the people. I also don't know if quantifying that is even worth it...that's another question as well.

    Reading the article about development what struck me the most was how many requirements were listed regarding what it takes to make a young person fully rounded in a positive way.How much time would it take to really implement systems that would pioneer the changes it seems neighborhoods, schools, and other systems need to benefit young people? Even if that was pulled off is it possible to really hit all the marks noted?

    ReplyDelete
  13. This article interested me greatly, specifically when it was discussed that adolescents and young adults held the least amount of community engagements. Speaking back to my experience I August Term, I believe going into the community and participating in the potlucks that were offered playing a big part in the good memories and appealing atmosphere I now associate with Lexington. It appears to me as common knowledge that the association with other people offers sanity to people psychologically. I almost felt pride in the statewide developmental assets initiative in Colorado that showcases many benefits and gains from such research. I thought that more of the external assets contributed to such positive feedback, specifically that of family and neighborhood exposure.
    Although reading through this article raised many questions towards community engagement to me. Can a faux community, one you create, offer the same benefits as to one you live amongst? Can the demonstration of negative outlooks and attitudes cause children to strive towards more positive outlooks and attitudes more times than not? Psychologically it would seem that the theory of reverse psychology could benefit some children rather than not. Does negative/positive reinforcement hold effects to the research done? What types of reinforcement are used if any? Although I do have many questions for this article, I do believe that the knowledge of developmental assets will positively affect the way I will raise children in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I really relate the ted talk with Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA. Food and gardening as meant so much to me. From my reading and observation that the reading we have is from the progress movement, though Rev. Barber's clean to not be progressive has the talk is still one. With all that has to happen after the election and the creation of new progressive meaning just like in the election of Present Obama in 2008 and the last 8 years, we have seen a rise in white nationalist movements. My question is how can we bring all the groups/ all the people tougher and have a government that we work for the people, not just the progressive and conservative.

    ReplyDelete