On Saturday 20 May, Turin hosted the 30th Restart party. The Restart Project (www.therestartproject.org) is a no-profit organisation based in London’s Camden and Brixton districts, which in just over two years of activity has organised countless events in pubs, art galleries, libraries and public spaces, fostering an enthusiasm for a collaborative community approach to repair in the UK and internationally.
Associazione TeSSo, Triciclo and Officina Informatica Libera are the Italian “arm” of the Restart Project, and adopt the same philosophy to organise free community repair events. The approach responds to a range of environmental and economic concerns. On one hand, it opposes the planned obsolescence of objects and the creation of electronic waste, on the other it promotes the re-use and re-cycling of valuable objects. Finally, it reduces sourcing of raw materials, often the cause of environmental devastation.
But the added value of an experience such as Restart is the socialisation of community knowhow: «during the parties, the owners of the objects to be repaired take an active part in the repair, and so frequently learn to perform similar repairs themselves,» explains Simona Vlaic of the Associazione Tesso. «I want to stress however that very often we advise people to apply to professional menders. Our live events have a purely cultural function. Our activities are based on the passion and commitment of 5/6 volunteers, we don’t have spare parts for every household appliance. We teach people the method and logical approach involved in making a repair. If the object is a valuable item, then we always recommend professional menders We’re not competing with them.»
Circulating knowledge increases with each edition: like a repair wikipedia it uses contributions from everyone and everyone puts something back in. In the meantime, the restarters have brought out two booklets, published by Simone Edizione: “Come fare per…riparare gli elettrodomestici” and “Come fare per… riparare i computer” [what to do to repair … household appliances and what to do to repair … computers].