Award-winning activist and founder of the global Craftivist Collective, Sarah Corbett, will be running a special workshop at The Forum during Norfolk’s Heritage Open Days (HODs).
Norwich is proud to be one of four locations chosen to host the exclusive Dare to Dream workshop as part of the Unsung Stories initiative, which highlights heritage stories through a creative arts project.
Combining gentle activism and handicrafts, Sarah will be running the craftivism workshop at The Forum on Sunday, September 15, providing a unique opportunity to work with her and stitch dreams and aspirations onto specially-designed clouds.
Sarah, whose work has helped change government laws and business policies, said: “I’m really excited to be delivering this workshop at The Forum because it has such a great history and it’s all about daring to dream about how we can be change makers of the future.
“What’s so important about Heritage Open Days is that it reminds us to learn from the past, what people of the past dreamt about and how they helped to create that dream. And with The Forum it’s such a physical reminder of the history of the library burning down and people wanting to save it and create a community space.
“It is a chance to think about what our dreams are for the future of Norwich, our communities and the world and how we can be part of creating that dream.”
Sarah has worked as a professional campaigner for more than a decade, most recently with Oxfam GB.
She said: “My mum always jokes that I have been an activist since I was in the womb. I grew up in a low income area in Everton and at the age of three I was squatting in social housing to save them from demolition. I campaigned at school, university and then worked for different charities as a professional campaigner.
“I started doing craftivism 11 years ago in 2008 when I became a burnt out activist. Often campaigning would involve shouting and screaming and I wanted to treat people kindly even if I disagreed with them, so I felt like it actually wasn’t that effective.
“I got into it because I was travelling a lot across the country and I got travel sick. I picked up a cross stitch kit and I immediately noticed that the repetitive hand action calm me down and gave me time to think more strategically about how I could be an effective change-maker.”
Sarah set up the Craftivist Collective in 2009, providing products and services for individuals, groups and organisations using her unique gentle protest methodology.
“Over the last 10 years I’ve been honing where craft can be useful in activism,” she said. “And now there are craftivist groups all over the world so it seems like there is a real want for a quieter, gentler and slower activism.”
Sarah’s trip to Norwich will be particularly special as her family has connections to the city.
She said: “My grandad was Bishop of Norwich in the 70s and 80s and my mum grew up there. When I was small we would go and visit my grandparents at the Bishop’s House and my parents got married at the cathedral. They had their party in the Bishop’s House Garden which I know is open for Heritage Open Days as well, so I feel very privileged to be able to join local people to dream about the future in a place that really connects to my history.”
The Dare to Dream workshop will take place during Norfolk HODs which runs from Friday, September 13 to Sunday, September 22.
The workshop will start at 2pm. No craft skills are required – just an open heart and an open mind. Limited spaces are available, and to book visit https://theforumnorwich.co.uk/hods, where the full brochure is also available to download.