Craftivism at Kington Langley WI


The NFWI's Public Affairs Team sent out a request at the beginning of February. They invited WI members to take part in a new craft project, WI Women in Activism. The project involved creating a processional banner or flag with the aim of featuring them in an NFWI online exhibition to mark International Women's day on 8 March 2021. The theme for the banners or flags was to be a particular WI campaign or to cover a range of campaigns.


What was even more challenging was that the closing date was only a month away!


Kington Langley, a small rural village in North Wiltshire, and very much a part of the community, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and it has not had a banner for decades. They decided they could create a legacy for the future. Being in Lockdown, meant, in theory, there were fewer distractions.


Patricia Richards designed the banner and put together all the materials. She made the structure and then embroiderers created individual squares illustrating the different campaign slogans. Most of the embroiderers confessed to not having done cross stitch, blanket stitch, chain stitch or French knots for years yet they were really excited by the opportunity to create something which would mark some of the campaigns in which the WI has been involved.

Normally the crafters would have met around someone's kitchen table and the creative project would have been brought to life amidst cups of coffee and pieces of cake. Instead, individuals planned the banner on Zoom and over the phone and worked their panels in isolation and yet it was still very much a collaborative project of women staying connected yet socially distanced. The exhibition is now on My WI and link to the online exhibition is: https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/public-affairs-and-campaigns/current-campaigns/international-womens-day - submitted by Elma Lawer, WI Adviser, elmalawer@wiltshirewi.org.uk

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