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Gentle protest

Catherine Larner meets the new ‘quiet’ activists, who use creativity and individuality to get their message across, rather than division and conflict…

A stitch in time…


Formerly a professional campaigner, Sarah Corbett now makes her point through embroidered messages. She was named the Sheila McKechnie Economic Justice Campaigner of 2016.

My first direct political act was joining my parents squatting in social housing to save it from demolition when I was three. I went on to become a professional campaigner, but I struggled with the noise and the anger. I didn’t like telling people what to do.

On a long train journey, I picked up a cross-stitch kit and noticed it made me more mindful. Craft is quiet and repetitive and naturally meditative. I was able to focus and be strategic, and ask myself dicult questions.

I began to stitch miniature banners embroidered with provocative messages about social justice, and I’d hang them in places relevant to issues I cared about. I find that people are more intrigued and spend time looking at something that is cute or beautiful, and will speak to the person who made it. In 2009, I set up the Craftivist Collective to help people become e­ective ‘craftivists’ and good global citizens. We use craft as a tool to create quiet, thoughtful and compassionate activism as a catalyst for long-term positive change in our world and in ourselves.

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About Psychologies

This month, we’re urging you to ‘trust yourself’. Wonderful words but, not especially easy to put into practice. That’s why we’ve dedicated 18 pages in our dossier to discovering how to do exactly that – exploring everything from to how to turn up the volume of our inner wise woman, to looking at the latest research on making the best decisions. And it’s not what you think. Be inspired and get ready to move forward. Plus, how to reinvent your career and 10 of the best budget boltholes.