Urban Guerrillas: Yarn Bombing and the Subversive Stitch

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Date(s) - 12 Feb 2013
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Room E457

Dr Alyce McGovern, Criminology, University of New South Wales

Craftivism, the practice of utilising art and craft as a vehicle for individual/collective agency and to advocate political or social viewpoints (Greer 2007), has emerged as an issue of interest for scholars across a range of disciplinary fields. Acts of craftivism raise important questions for criminologists about the use of public space, power, resistance and surveillance. Yarn bombing is one example of a growing ‘craftivist’ movement that has been steadily gaining momentum within craft and activist circles since the early to mid-2000s. Yarn bombing, also known as guerilla knitting or graffiti knitting, is an urban craft movement that melds the craft of knitting with the act of graffiti. The Macmillan Dictionary (2010) characterizes guerilla knitting as “the activity of putting knitted coverings on statues, posts, seats and other public objects, especially secretly and without official permission”. In this seminar Dr McGovern will explore the concept of craftivism and its evolution as a protest movement. In presenting findings from research based on interviews with yarn bombers, she will consider the broader implications of craftivist activities for spatial and crime control.

Dr McGovern is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of New South Wales She has researched widely on police-media relations, leading to the publication of her work in a number of well-respected journals, including Policing and Society and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. In 2013 she will publish her monograph Policing and Media: Public Relations, Simulations and Communications (with Dr Murray Lee) through Routledge. Dr McGovern’s current research projects are focused on proactive police public relations activities, sexting, craftivism, and criminology education.

Tuesday 12th February 1-2pm, Room E457 Menzies Building, Monash University Clayton                    

RSVP Bree.Carlton@monash.edu Monday 10th February