Our Repair Declarations work as statements or demands that we can get behind and act on. They are co-produced with local communities so that we can collectively explore what changes are needed, so as to mend and fix more things, more easily.

Focusing on Westmeath county, over 2022, we gathered people’s ideas of what should go into Ireland’s First Repair Declaration. Though our website and workshops, people shared their ideas, which is compiled into one single ‘Repair Declaration’.

This 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.

Over 2023, we will be working with Westmeath County Council, to look at how we can implement this programme in the region.

What are our 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, we will be co-creating through our website and workshops Ireland’s first Repair Declaration.

When you submit your repair story to our website, we will also be asking you to contribute what you think would enable more local, vibrant and sustainable forms of repair in Ireland and Westmeath. Throughout our storytelling and workshop events, we will also be gathering people’s opinions.

For example, perhaps you think we should create walk-in mobile repair units or that we should give VAT or tax breaks on repaired goods, or that we should make International Repair Day a major day in Ireland for celebrating our repair cultures.

Whatever your idea is, we welcome your suggestion. Once we have collated a number of statements, we will map all the ideas and create a single declaration that will be launched as part of our installation in Kilbeggan during 3-6th November 2022.

What is our Right to Repair?

Our Right to Repair is important legislation that came into action in the European Union in 2021. The right is about giving us ‘consumers’ the choice and freedom to be able – without breaking any rules – to repair objects themselves, or to go to a third-party repair centre or official repair centre.

You would think this ‘right’ is given but many companies control or limit the repairability of their products so they can keep control of their product chains. In some cases, they even design so that things can be broken easily or within a certain period of time. This is called planned obsoletism, which is a strategic design decision that manufactures create so as to push further consumption and gain control over market chains but what it is really doing is creating more waste, more landfill and unethical design and manufacturing practices.

Thinking about how we can activate change and support the development of more local vibrant repair cultures and economies, our 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 activate local repair mindsets and behaviours.

Our declarations inspirations

Drawing on the work of artists such as Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969! which promotes ‘maintenance’ and everyday acts of care as central for sustaining life, in contrast to the fetish of object-oriented mindsets, where the new and avant-garde are seen as ‘progress’.

We will be looking to how the care and repair of the object we own, provides a way to think more deeply about our relationship with raw materials, the earth and the resources and energy that goes into making the things that we own. Our declarations are also intended to provide a counter point to over consumption by looking at how we can locally devise a set of actions and intentions that can support our ‘Right to Repair’.

To support this we also take inspiration from those who have also created repair-centred declarations and manifesto’s including: Platform 21’s, Repair Manifesto (2009), iFixit’s, Repair Manifesto (2010), the and the Manchester Declaration that emerged from community repair groups (Repair Cafés and Restart Parties across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) during FixFest (2016).

Platform21 Repair Manifesto

Platform21 Repair Manifesto

iFixIt Manifesto

iFixIt Manifesto