Monday, February 9, 2015

Debbie Chachra isn't a maker- and that's fine

image of woman's face wearing hooded jacket holding upto mouth with both hands
Debbie Chachra
Interesting article in the Atlantic by associate professor at Olin College of Engineering, Debbie Chachra about why she doesn't identify herself as a maker. 

Why I am not a maker

It was a very timely article for me as I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about making. What a maker is and why it's important.   While it's fine that she doesn't wish to identify as a maker, the perspective which she bases that decision on is not mine.   She sees the roots of making very differently and defines making and maker very differently than I do.
Making is not a rebel movement, scrappy individuals going up against the system. While the shift might be from the corporate to the individual (supported, mind, by a different set of companies selling a different set of things), it mostly re-inscribes familiar values, in slightly different form: that artifacts are important, and people are not...Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products.

I started to try and provide counterpoints to some of Mrs. Chachra's points in how she defines these and realized that short of providing a full critique, I couldn't provide an accurate picture of mine.  In short though, capitalism and consumerism are far from making.   People are at the core of it.   Making isn't about the product, but the process and perspective. 

Instead of rattling on, I'll save the long version for another day and encourage you to read her piece and think about what making is to you. 

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