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The Rag School Curriculum

Rachael Matthews

When I found the New School of the Anthropocene, I was halfway through writing a book ‘Rag Manifesto’ based around my project ‘Rag School’ at East London Textile Arts. Rag School gathers diverse communities together to rediscover ways of reusing the enormous piles of textile waste resulting from Fast Fashion. We make professional art works which tell stories about global and local issues, whilst enhancing the wellbeing of all participants and our local environment. Half way through writing the book I felt slightly lost at sea. Practicing Craftivism using rags of the grass roots had opened a very wide window onto the world for me. I needed reflection time, mind mapping of my experience and to find out how our work relates to both Ecology and Humanities. Every NSOTA lecture, workshop and reading has given me a thread to link ideas together and to inspire something further. The Manifesto is now in the shops and I am focusing on the Rag School Curriculum, discovering what that is by making new collaborative artworks.

My intention is for Rag School to be introduced to any community, offering empowerment through the transformation of materials, changing our relationship to commercial fashion and textiles, which is one of the world’s largest polluters.


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