Co-creating Repair Declarations, BA Graphics Workshop, TALES OF CARE AND REPAIR, 2021. Image credit Teresa Dillon.

Repair Declarations

Inspired by the activism and work of the Right to Repair movement, and that of artists who have been thinking about care, repair and maintenance, a key element of our work is the co-design of Repair Declarations with local communities.

What are Repair Declarations

Repair Declarations are statements of intent; they can be aspirational, symbolic or direct statements of action that people can get behind, and which a community, town, village or neighbourhood can use to foster more repair orientated cultures and activate change.

A unique aspect of our programme, Repair Declarations are created by crowding sourcing ideas, using various visual,, cross referencing and sense checking methods. This produces a series of statements or demands that when complied together into one document, people can get behind and act on. To date we have created four declarations, which continue to evolve in localities that we are currently working.


Our declarations build on the work of artists such as Mierle Laderman Ukeles, particularly her Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969!, the Dutch group Platform21’s Repair Manifesto of 2009, and iFixIt’s similarly titled Repair Manifesto circa 2010. We also drew on the ‘Manchester Declaration’ that emerged from community repair groups (Repair Cafés and Restart Parties across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Such community groups came together during FixFest in 2016 and created the declaration as a set of requests to politicians, product manufacturers and designers to support them in their demands for our Right to Repair. Within each country, through our workshop programmes and events, we collated statements, ideas and intentions around repair.

These various declarations and manifesto’s have provided inspiration for how we approach co-scripting declarations with communities, so that they can foster more restorative practices in their localities.

Bristol Repair Declaration

The Bristol Repair Declaration was created in 2022 as part of TALES OF CARE AND REPAIR, which was funded by the British Council, Creative Commissions for Climate Action strand for COP, 26 in Glasgow. Statements were gathered across twenty workshops at which we asked people what they would put into a declaration for the city. Key to supporting this process was our work with Bristol Green Capital Partnership through their Green Mingle event, which brings together community groups, activists, social enterprises and others working in the field of climate action.

We continue to work with Bristol Green Capital Partnership to implement ideas that emerged through this declaration, which also connects to Bristol’s One City Climate Strategy. This strategy takes a city council-partnership model designed to help Bristol come together to resolve complex issues and also links to initiatives such as Bristol’s Climate Hub, Community Climate Action Project.

Bristol’s Climate Hub, Community Climate Action Project is run by Bristol Green Capital Partnership and the Centre for Sustainable Energy whereby six community neighbourhood partners Ambition Lawrence Weston, Heart of BS13, Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust, Eastside Community Trust, Ashley Community Housing, and Bristol Disability Equality Forum are looking to ways to identify community priorities and co-produce community climate action plans, to support Bristol’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The Bristol Repair Declaration also has evolved to support those working in Bristol Disability Equality Forum to campaign for people to be able to repair their disability aids.

Brazilian Repair Declaration (v.1) co-created by Aline Coutinho, Cinthia Mendonça, Felipe Fonseca, Fernanda Duarte, Fred Paulino, Kenzo Abiko, Pedro Belasco and Wellington Cançado and students who took part of the Brazilian branch of TALES OF CARE AND REPAIR.

Brazilian Declaration

Our partners in TALES OF CARE AND REPAIR, Toxics Link, in New Delhi and Gambiologia piloted the creation of Repair Declarations in their regions. Due to the limitations of COVID in both regions during 2021-22 each partners approached the formation of their declarations in different ways.

The Brazilian team behind TALES OF CARE AND REPAIR created the Conserta & Conta (‘Fix and Tell’) study group as a means to coordinate their Repair Declaration. While most of the members had been acquainted for years, the topic of repair was not a subject of interest per se. From the first meeting, it was clear that a focus on repair had potential to promote conversations and cooperation.

With meetings scheduled for ninety minutes, they often ran into many hours, with topics covering repair in the informal economy in Brazil, gambiarra as a creative and sustainable practice, the idea of restoration as a common ground to repair, as well as historic reparation and repair as a form of social repair and healing among people and cultures. These topics are reflected in the Brazilian Declaration, which is a set of aspirational propositions that could enrich repair and repairability in the culture with a focus on Belo Horizonte.

The Conserta & Conta (‘Fix and Tell’) study group included Aline Coutinho, Cinthia Mendonça, Felipe Fonseca, Fernanda Duarte, Fred Paulino, Kenzo Abiko, Pedro Belasco and Wellington Cançado. With the declaration resulting from a series of online meetings during the year of 2021 and inspired by discussions with students in a series of six workshops held as part of TALES OF CARE AND REPAIR.

India Declaration

Toxics Link created several posts about the project and asked workshop participants about their perceptions and thoughts on repair and what they think about when they hear the term. As repairing in India is so ‘everyday’ placing a spotlight on it, is novel. Toxics Link’s India Declaration therefore focused on the affective dimensions of repair and the values behind repair, as they understood from the responses they collated.

Repair Acts, Ireland. Launch of the Westmeath Declaration, 2022. Image credit. Paul Moore.

Ireland Declaration

Building on our pilot work, with Toxics Link and Gambiologia, over 2022 we explored how our approach to construction ‘Repair Declarations’ could work in a rural context. This work was carried out as part of Repair Acts, Ireland and in collaboration with Dr. Alma Clavin, UCD and community partners, Westmeath County Council.

Building on our work to-date, across 20+ workshops we gathered people’s ideas of what should go into the declaration and implement and online system, through which people could also add their ideas. Additionally, the Westmeath Declaration was accompanied by a launch debate in the town hall village of Kilbeggan, where we invited a number of speakers, including our partners Westmeath CoCo, funders Creative Ireland, who inaugural programme on Climate Action Fund supported the development of the work in this region, as well as a national organisations such as the Rediscovery Centre, Pavee Point Travellers Centre, Jiminy Eco-Toys, TOG, Hacker Space and more to give their view on how to take it forward.

This public conversation not only allowed launched the Declaration but also provided context for our partners Westmeath County Council, to share their views on how it could be collectively taken forward. We continue to work with the County Council, to explore how to practically create more vibrant repair-networks in this part of the Ireland.