Crafternoon and Freshers’ Fair 2019
Read on for a write up of the run up to freshers fair, all the labour that went into the feminist goodie bags, and how the two days of campaigning on campus went!
On a cold, grey afternoon (don’t let the filters fool you), members of WOKE got together to create goodie bags for the Freshers’ Fair, and while a tiresome affair the outcome was fruitful.
Starting energised, everyone set about producing personalised designs with a colourful array of pencils, felt tips and stamps, courtesy of Sophia.
Spirits were high as we poured all our creativity into designing informational feminist goodie bags filled with zines, a handy intersectional glossary, and promotional materials.
Despite the pouring rain and our informal WOKE mascot, Mango the dog, barking (A LOT) we continued working.
We got by with group discussions about our experiences as women on campus and regular tea breaks.
The room slowly lost any semblance of order with stationery, paper bags, snacks and more spread everywhere.
After hours of working we ran out of steam – yet continued pushing through till the end of the day where we revelled in our hard work over a hearty dinner. (Thanks Yasmin for cooking!)
We loved our designs, have a look below:
Sadly, we were no way near finished and so a few days later we continued with another crafter-noon, we returned to a routine: crafting, chatting, snacking – but our drive had shifted since initially starting, and so designing became more of a chore as time passed.
I guess we didn’t realise just how much work we had committed ourselves to.
We had decided to make 300 goodie bags and that included making 300 ‘women in protest’ zines, 300 intersectional dictionaries, 300 stickers.. etc.
Towards dusk, with morale at an all-time low, Sophia made the unnerving discovery that despite our sighs of relief at ‘finishing’ – one more bag pack remained, most likely hidden under the piles of materials used.
Each bag of bags had 100 bags in.
We were exhausted.
Despite being disheartened, we had to finish.
Thus we creatively developed a steady system in which we would spend 30 seconds each on a bag then pass it round amongst ourselves, until we had received our original bags which led us to then start on a new one.
At first we used the countdown music but that was causing us all considerable anxiety but then we discovered the solution: Britney!
This way, we finally managed to tackle the last couple of piles, whilst also creating an array of colourful, unique bags – literally symbolising our collaborative work.
The process of creating our feminist goodie bags had taken days of work, hours of collaboration, and lots of craft supplies.
We need to thank: Raveena, Ade, Ellie, Molly, Laura, Niall, Sarah, Monique (me!), Fides, Gabby, Sophia, Zakiya, and Yasmin for all the labour that went into the bags.
To have a look at the information we included in the bags click here
Oh, and it would be shameful if we didn’t thank the princess of pop herself, Britney, for her inspirational noughties hits.
Thanks to Britney for rejuvenating our souls, and encouraging us to persevere.
The following week arrived and with it: Freshers’ Fair.
Fresher’s Fair began on the Monday, so everyone had gathered at KeeleSU in the morning to help set up and prepare for the long 6 hours ahead.
We were placed next to LGBT+ society and sharing the space with BAME society for much of the fair.
This was great, if a bit squashed, as we have cross-over membership.
We set about organising the stall, making do with the little space we had; storing most of the goodie bags behind the table to leave room for the mountain of freebies, which included: intersectional feminist badges (handmade by yours truly); temporary tattoos; sweets; period pads and condoms.
The fair was calm to begin with, as the freshers walked around and browsed from stall to stall.
However, it quickly picked up pace towards lunchtime, where we had some keen individuals engaged with what we do and our upcoming events.
During inactive periods, we were quick to entice people with the array of goodies; we also decided to gift feminist goodie bags to other stalls, offering condoms to everyone that passed and handing out leis with our events tagged on.
After an intense two days we managed to disperse all out goodie bags and most promo material and meet some potential new activists.
We had so many of us taking time to work on the WOKE stall including a very pregnant Laura! So we need to thank Ade, Raveena, myself (Monique), Sophia, Molly, Aisha, Laura for taking time on the stall.
When the two days of freshers fair had finally ended, all of us were tired and overwhelmed from the hard work that we put into our stall.
Yet despite all of this, I can proudly say that our efforts have paid off and we were successful in spreading WOKE’s name to the masses.
We hope that people consult their intersectional dictionary, their how2 document on how to run events and join us at all the events we are running.
Written by Monique Sang: Undergraduate International Relations Student at Keele who focuses on the postcolonial feminist critique.