Repair Acts, Ireland
Ireland, 01.11.2021 - 19.12.2022

Repair Acts, Ireland aims to foster vibrant and restorative repair cultures in Ireland by connecting past stories about mending and fixing things, with what we do today, to how we envision the future. Over 2022 we will be working with local communities, repair enthusiast and experts, DIY hobbyists and passionate amateurs to build the people’s online photo archive of everyday repaired objects. Documenting and mapping how we used to repair things, with our “Right to Repair”, we will be creating Ireland’s first “Repair Declaration” and speculating on future directions. We will be creating a series of new art works and site-based installation, which will be positioned in Kilbeggan, Westmeath as part of a 4-day event running from 3-6th Nov.

Background

We’ve all done it. Something breaks, and we don’t know how to mend it – so we throw it away. However binning our broken things is harming our environment. Buying things over and over again means we’re ramping up carbon emissions, and by sending them to landfill when they break, we are piling up tonnes of unnecessary waste.

But we are always fixing things. Fixing, repairing and maintaining objects is essential, even vital to everyday life. Our ‘Right to Repair’ the objects should be a necessary given as it empowers us to take care of our tools and things by demanding good design and addresses issues relating to planned obsoletism. Repairing things can support local economies and crafts persons and when we mend something, we love or care for it also contributes to our wellbeing and autonomy in the world.

Celebrating and spotlighting such everyday care – REPAIR ACTS, Ireland gathers stories of how we fix everyday things. It will do this by looking at how we repaired things in the past, to how we do it now and how we will repair things in the future.

Connecting histories of repair to what we do today and tomorrow. We will be speaking to people about their memories of how we used to fix things locally. Mapping instances of repair through various archives, we will be creating new cartographies of local repair practice, exploring how people in Westmeath used to repair anything from thatching roofs, to tinsmithing, weaving and mending baskets and cloths.

To collect stories from the present, we aim to collect 1,000 stories of how people from across the county fix their everyday objects. These stories will become part of a contemporary repository of objects that will be exhibited as part of our installation.

Looking to the future, from 3-6th Nov 2022 we will be creating a site-based installation in the village of Kilbeggan that draws on all our activities and speculates on future repair narratives.

Leading conversations about the role repair can play in society and climate change, over 2022 we will also be hosting a number of storytelling events and workshops. During which we will be collecting aspirational statements for how to foster more local repair mindsets in towns, villages and neighborhoods. These statements will help us to create a generative Repair Declaration, which we will launch as part International Repair Day on 15th October 2022.

Team and Funders

Repair Acts, Ireland emerges from the broader work, methodologies and practices of the Repair Acts programme which was established in 2018 by the artist, researcher and Professor of City Futures, Teresa Dillon at the University of the West of England (School of Art and Design and Digital Cultures Research Centre). Since the inception of the programme, the geographer Dr. Alma Clavin, University College Dublin has been involved in the project.

Together Professor Dillon and Dr. Clavin, with support from Westmeath County Council, Environmental and Heritage Officers and the Public Participation Network, applied to Creative Ireland, to set up the Irish branch of the project.

Repair Acts Ireland is funded by Creative Ireland, Creative Climate Action Fund with the first phase of the project running across 2022.