REPAIR ACTS Westmeath

Brigid Geoghegan
Brigid Geoghegan • 26 October 2021

REPAIR ACTS Westmeath

 

We've all done it. Something breaks, and we don't know how to fix it – so we throw it away. But 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 actually always fixing things. Fixing, repairing and maintaining objects is essential, even vital to everyday life.

 

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

 

Focusing on the past we will be speaking to people about their memories of how we used to fix things locally. We will also be looking through various archives, to gather as much material as possible about how people in Westmeath used to repair anything from tractors to cloths, buildings to baskets.

 

To collect stories from the present, we aim to collect 1,000 stories of how people from across the county fix their everyday objects. Yes, we are interested in hearing about how you fixed your mobile phone, the garden wall or mended that special jumper or bag! To capture your repairs we will be creating a website where you can upload an image of an object you have mended - either  by yourself, or professionally. You will be able to tag the image with details about the repair, which will help us build a picture of contemporary repair in Westmeath.

 

Looking to the future, in 2022 we will be holding a series of workshops that playfully speculate on how we will repair things in the future, which will result in a short video.

 

Our stories will also lead conversations about the role repair can play in society and climate change. Our ambition is also to generate a number of aspirational statements for how to foster more local repair in towns, villages and neighbourhoods.

 

To support all these efforts from Nov 2021-October 2022 we will be holding workshops, seminars, storytelling events, community assemblies and an exhibition that will help you and/or your community organisation to get involved.

 

We believe that repairing can not only reduce waste and support local economies and craftspeople but that learning to repair things can also make you feel good. Join us to help kick start a repair movement that's changing how we think about the things we use every day.

 

Contact us today on repairacts@protonmail.com to find out how you or your community organisation can get involved. We are interested in hearing from individuals and groups age 18 to 80 years and over.

 

REPAIR ACTS Westmeath is a project by the artist Teresa Dillon, geographer Dr. Alma Clavin (University College Dublin) and Westmeath County Council. It is supported by the cross departmental Creative Ireland Climate Action fund.