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Restart Podcast Ep. 37: Voices of UK fixers

Interviewing at Fixfest UK

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Fixfest UK gathered 59 community repair activists from all across the country, representing 25 different repair groups. This event was all about sharing the love for fixing, as well as common visions and opportunities for collaborations. With the day’s theme of ‘Hope’, many ideas emerged to work for sustainable and impactful repair action in our communities.

In this episode, we talk to some of Fixfest UK participants, who share their experiences. They talk about their group’s work, their motivations and aims. This was the first Fixfest UK, after last year’s international edition, and it happened in Manchester, the home of the first atom splitting, first co-op store, and first programmable computer.

The event started with a warm-up session led by our podcaster Dave Pickering. It is unusual to be surrounded by so many other people who run community repair groups in their communities, and that is what makes Fixfest so unique. Throughout the day, participants attended and ran multiple sessions, covering topics ranging from hands-on skillshares to policy discussions around our Right to Repair.

We also had an unexpected repair on site! There was an ‘out of order’ sign on the toilet at the venue which led to some participants performing some good ‘guerrilla repair’.

Participants also shared some of their most memorable repair stories, some featuring a porcelain bunny, a radio or a hedge trimmer. Others commented on the best moments of Fixfest: from visualising community repair events as sites for social change to promoting more inclusive fixing spaces.

Also at Fixfest, 25 community repair groups drafted the Manchester Declaration, which brings together the grassroots frustration experienced by people at our events, when they realise that their products are breaking long before they should.


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