The Collective operates The Handyman School of Embroidery for Ladies and Gentlemen, and engages in embroidery-based activism: popularising embroidery techniques, teaching embroidery to beginners, and bringing people together to embroider banners as part of Occupation-Based Embroidery Actions. The Collective declares, “Our intent is to prove that anyone can embroider, and that embroidery may become a revolutionary pursuit”.
The Handymen began operating as part of an occupation-based action during the Nationwide Women’s Strike in Cracow. The embroidery-and-activism campaign produced an eight-metre banner reading “I Think, Feel, Decide”, with contributions by over seventy participants, the banner then carried at the head of the Silent March during the Black Protest in the streets of Cracow. Ever since, numerous embroidery-and-activism campaigns have produced further banners, carried at Equality Parades and Feminist Manifestations.
Bringing down the patriarchal order in the Cracovian Planty Park
The Collective designed and developed the Embroidery Mobile Unit (Haftowóz), a mobile open-air embroidery stand used during feminist demonstrations and happenings, and at any other locations the Unit can reach. The Unit holds all tools and appliances required: tambours, needles, tracing paper, thread, floss, textiles, etc.
As declared by Handymen at the planning stage already, “Once we build the Unit, we will be able to move out into public space with our work; consequently, embroidery will become much more visible – and a vastly greater number of people will be able to encounter the themes we explore. The Unit will support art-and-craftivism: a blend of arts, crafts, and activism.”
Grant amount: PLN 4,400.00
Photo: The Handyman Collective