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Crafting place: Women’s everyday creativity in placemaking processes

Platt, LC (2018) Crafting place: Women’s everyday creativity in placemaking processes. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 22 (3). pp. 362-377. ISSN 1367-5494

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Abstract

Amid a resurgence of domestic craft, this article contends that everyday creative practices of women are part of placemaking processes in the creative city. Specifically, the research focuses on Liverpool in the Northwest of England, the so-called (and self-proclaimed) ‘centre of the creative universe’. This article utilized in-depth semi-structured interviews with members of knitting groups and the city centre Women’s Institute to explore how women use craft practice to create a sense of self and attachment to place. The idea of women gathering to craft is enduring, and is examined here to understand affective labour and the role that creativity plays in the urban experience of women. It is argued that the groups demonstrate a lack of engagement with the wider market and official placemaking processes, but instead demonstrate an element of self-valorization. The article challenges thinking around culture-led placemaking in cities like Liverpool, where discourses of creativity have been used as a driver for regeneration by shifting the emphasis onto seemingly banal settings on the edges of the so-called creative city. While urban placemakers have been more recently concerned with developing hubs of creative industries, the role of these groups that are not producing a profitable ‘product’ should not be underestimated or exploited.

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