Stefan is Assistant Professor for Contemporary History and head of public history at the C²DHMORE ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Luxembourg repair café scene organised regular events in several towns and venues that gave ordinary people the possibility of repairing their broken objects, with the help of volunteers, free tools and spare parts. In general, the repair café movement sees repair as a learning experience that teaches people to value their consumer objects more, to take care of them, and to consume fewer new things by extending the lifespan of their possessions. But how did this start, and were there forerunners of this movement in Luxembourg?
The sub-project “Self-repair Cultures: From Leisure Activity to Political Activism” investigates the history of self-repair cultures in Luxembourg (c. 1950-1990). It will explore the impact of the do-it-yourself mentality (as a leisure activity) and the environmental movement (as political activism) on the development of consumer and self-repair practices. In addition, it will look at the reactions of repair professionals to self-repair movements, and compare Luxembourg self-repair cultures with developments in neighbouring countries. It will draw on archival sources, magazines and newspapers, together with semi-structured oral history interviews with players in the 1970s environmental movement.