Ecological Reparation
Repair, Remediation and Resurgence in Social and Environmental Conflict

16: Conversations on Benches

This chapter is the result of a series of ‘conversations on benches’ between Leila Dawney, a cultural geographer, and Linda Brothwell, an artist, in Bristol during December 2020. Linda is renowned for initiating a repair movement in the arts through her ‘acts of care’, where she performs intricate repairs on objects in public space. Leila and Linda have been collaborating on a new iteration of Linda’s ‘acts of care’ series. This chapter explores the themes of their conversations, including the effect of austerity policies on public objects and spaces, the role of objects in generating a shared life, and our ethical relationships towards objects. It concludes by offering a provocation to care for our shared objects, arguing that small acts of repair and custodianship can shift, at the micro level, our relationships with our world, our sense of who we are, and our sense of responsibility and belonging in public space.

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