Author: Sanna Blomgren

Through Needlecraft Towards Revolution in Sweden

Right now, making a pair of relatively simple mittens, knitting feels methodical. Melodic even. Other times, knitting causes every muscle to strain and my temples to pound with frustration. Sometimes I would rather just burn the sweater I’m knitting since it’s turning out all wrong, but I don’t. Instead I keep knitting, because I know I’m backed by a needlecraft community that is spread out all around the globe. Nea Glad is one of the co-founders of ‘Unifying Progressive Handicraft’ – a needlecraft association based in Malmö, Sweden. She and her friends started the association in the summer of 2012. Since then it has grown and today they get together once a week to hang out and do needlework. Now and then they also participate in political projects or conduct workshops. Nea says: “Through our association we wish to create spaces that enable people of different ages, colors, nationalities and abilities to meet through their mutual interest. It doesn’t matter where you come from or how old you are, as long as you like to needlecraft. In …

Raising Awareness of Menstruation and Sustainability in India

During a visit to Auroville, India a couple of days ago I was happy to have the opportunity to chat briefly with Eco Femme co-founder Kathy Walkling in between customers at their busy stall at the market. I had already heard about Eco Femme before I came to India and I was exited to meet the people behind it in real life. I wanted to get to know more about their important work on raising awareness of menstrual hygiene and sustainability among rural women in the state of Tamil Nadu. Eco Femme was founded in 2010 and in collaboration with the Auroville Village Action Group – an NGO working for womens’ empowerment in rural Tamil Nadu – they started to design and produce eco-friendly, washable cloth pads for sale worldwide. The cloth pads are stitched by women in self-help groups who have been trained in advanced tailoring. The women run their own collective tailoring unit and Eco Femme, whose monthly production order alone provides a full time livelihood to 7 women, is just one of their customers. The cloth pads …

OK, Ladies – Now Let’s Get in Formation

Yes, you caught me, I totally stole the headline from Beyonce, but it is only because it very well captures what I wish to put forward in this post – the importance of sticking together when times get tough. However, let’s start with a short recap of the year of 2016. 2016 has been a year of some, to say the least, surprising turn of events. Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, the government in Poland suggested that it would be a good idea to deny polish women the right to their bodies, and the U.S Government found it to be no problem to finish the North Dakota Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. On top of that the war in Syria is a never ending story (why can’t they just stop?) and keeps forcing people to flee their homes at the same time as racist and opportunist parties get ever more supporters around the globe, especially here in Europe. Two years ago, when the Swedish Democrats became the third largest …