The first version of the Westmeath Repair Declaration was created and launched in on 3rd Nov, 2022 at St James’s village hall, KIlbeggan.
The declaration gathered views, comments, feedbacks and questions that we collated across 20+ workshops over 2022 in Westmeath and via our online storytelling submission process.
Accompanying this we launched the Westmeath Declaration at the village hall in Kilbeggan (St James’s Hall), where we invited a number of speakers, including our partners Westmeath CoCo, funders Creative Ireland, 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. Over 2023-24 we will be continuing to work with the County Council, to explore how to practically create more vibrant repair-networks in this part of the Ireland.
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 initial UK ‘Manchester Declaration’ (2016), which was updated in 2023 to the UK Repair and Reuse Declaration. This UK Declaration emerged from the FixFest community repair groups (Repair Cafés and Restart Parties across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). During FixFest in 2016 and 2023 the declaration was established and refined and documents as set of requests targeting 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.