Repair opportunities

Publication: REPAIR Fanzine No. 1

photo project

We are very happy to announce the publication of our REPAIR fanzine no. 1! You can download it here. The first issue explores the topic of repair practices and opportunities in Esch-sur-Alzette.

The fanzine is based on interviews, archival research, hands-on experience, fieldwork and more. Anaïs Bloch contributed to the research and was responsible for the design. Anaïs has extensive experience in producing fanzines, having previously produced a series of fanzines on mobile phone repair shops in Switzerland. Although a fanzine typically refers to a non-professional, non-official publication, Anaïs’ work offers a more academic perspective. Yet with a mix of fieldwork and brief impressions, she maintains the ideal of the fanzine as a rapidly produced research output. With a combination of pictures, illustrations and textual elements, the final product reaches out to a broader audience interested in repair at large.

To connect Anaïs’ talent and our research as historians of technology, we decided to base this first volume on Thomas’ project about the shifting landscape of repair opportunities in Esch-sur-Alzette and Luxembourg City over the past century. Anaïs therefore originally intended to carry out her research in Esch-sur-Alzette. But our plans came up against COVID-19 and, as with so many other aspects of life, we had to adapt. Instead of a rapid production based on a quick ethnographic research stay, we decided to broaden our perspective and use the newly available time to research various historical counterpoints to what the town currently has to offer.

A second fanzine issue on the maintenance history of the Luxembourg telephone network is currently in production. It will draw from the best of both worlds: it will be produced alongside the current historical research of Rebecca Mossop, therefore offering a fresh perspective, but will also take advantage of previously prepared archival material to present a second layer of interest.