It was in September 2013 when they gathered for the first time. One facebook event was enough to start a small craftitivist knitting and crocheting revolution called Yarn Bombing Sarajevo. At first, there were seven enthusiasts. Afterwards the group gathered around 30 persons who meet once a week at the Rahatlook café in Baščaršija. More information about the group, and the events they organise can be found on their official facebook page.
The term craftivism was first introduced at the beginning of the 21st century and gained an online presence in 2003 through the website craftivism.com . The website sought to promote the symbiotic relationship between craft and activism. After craft skills such as knitting regained popularity, an idea emerged that instead of using solely one’s voice to advocate political viewpoints, one could use their creativity.
Craftivism includes, but is not limited to various forms of needlework. Craftivism is a social process of collective empowerment, action, expression and negotiation. In craftivism, engaging in the social, performative and critical discourse around the work is central to its production and dissemination. Practitioners are known as craftivists.
According to Betsy Greer, craftivism is the practice of engaged creativity, especially regarding political or social causes. By using their creative energy to help make the world a better place, craftivists help bring about positive change via personalized activism. Craftivism allows practitioners to customize their particular skills to address particular causes.
Yarn Bombing Sarajevo (YBS) was created with initial idea to provide a space where generations and genders meet and exchange knowledge and skills. Some of their activities are more focused on the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while others are intended to make people curious or to smile. YBS is one of the examples of commons in Sarajevo. It is open to anyone willing to learn new skills, to improve existing ones, or just to have fun while trying to knit or crochet. All the activities are free of charge.
Their on-going project aims to crochet 1000 flags for protests initiated by friends from Croatia.