“It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what descriptions describe descriptions, what ties tie ties. It matters what worlds make worlds, what worlds make stories” Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Durham: Duke University Press, 2016 (p.12).
Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful ways, through which we understand not only our personal, lived experiences but also how as a society, as communities and collectives, we as share and pass our knowledge about the world and how to live and maintain it well.
From an artistic and academic context, storytelling as a form of narrative practice and research has also explored, how personal stories can catalyse and contribute to social change.
At studio repair acts, storytelling has been central to our approach and has taken any forms from working with professional storytellers and performing artists, to graphic illustrators, who supporting documentation of our conversations, to local historians who have created bespoke walks.
Adopting a rich intersection of approaches from performing, visual arts, film and documentary making, to traditional oral techniques such as story circles and folklore we look to connecting past stories about mending and maintenance, with what we do today, to how we envision the future.
It is this interdisciplinary approach to storytelling that also drives our “People’s Archive of Everyday Repair” as we believe that even in the most mundane of repairs, there are gems of wisdom that are universal. This ongoing archive is a contemporary picture of the objects, aesthetics, hacks and mends that people across Westmeath and Ireland have uploaded to date.