We are so happy to feature Kaja who is presenting the project titled, Restarters Oslo, at our event on November 26th! Read more about the project below:
Restarters Oslo has taken the concept of a “”Fixer fest”” for electronics to Norway. We want to create a creative and social culture around the practice of repair, and arrange these “”fixefester”” for electronics all across Oslo. At a fixefest, one can fix broken electronics, such as PCs, radios, telephones, or any other smaller devices. The people who do the fixing are voluntary “”fixere”” who are experienced in the trade. Repairing electronics together is more fun and more educationally rich than simply throwing them out in the trash. We are a part of a global movement that works to use and recycle electronic waste. The first society was founded in London as The Restart Project, and after four years has spread the concept to over nine countries, from Italy to the USA. Norwegians are unfortunately at the top of the table in Europe when it comes to buying and throwing away electronics. To produce a PC, for example, requires the same amount of material by volume in chemicals, water, and fossil fuels as a mid-sized car; wouldn’t it make a bit more sense to repair it? By working practically and locally, the goal is to change peoples’ relationship with electronics as well as how we value and take care of them. By opening them up and looking at the insides, we can rather enjoy ourselves while letting these little devices live a little bit longer. The fixefest, what this application is intended to fund, forms the basis of our operations. Fixefests are when we pool together our fixers and open doors to anybody who needs their electronics to be repaired. However, we wish to stress that this is not simply a one-way street; our fixers interact with the people who come with their devices, teaching them along the way. The intention is not simply to be a one-stop shop for electronic repair, but to spread the knowledge that will enable society as a whole to have a more sustainable relationship with their electronic devices. We have many fixefests coming up in collaboration with Deichmanske, but the funding is not completely secure. We are both in the knowledge sector, which unfortunately is not always lucrative! It is our hope that this event will allow us to push forward with our plans and our partnership.
Why does this idea matter to you?
We hope to teach people the value of fixing their own belongings and to nurture a sense of responsibility for what they own. We think that this event would be important because the earlier we can teach newcomers these values, the more imprinted they will be as they begin buying more sophisticated equipment such as smart phones, laptops, and tablets. As a society, almost an entire generation has lost the ability to do basic repairs to their items, and with that goes valuable skills not just for the home, but also for employment later on in life. If we are able to get everyday people to be more comfortable with how electronics work, we can create a new generation that is familiar and capable not just with software, but also with hardware. In contrast to the growing proficiency in programming and software capabilities, skills in dealing with hardware are somewhat of a rarity in today’s world even though they are no less important.
How will you idea make Oslo a better place?
In addition to the points above, we hope to foster community spirit with these festivals. We go home happy if we get a diverse crowd to come together, have fun, learn something new, and talk about their experiences to others.
How will you use the micro-grant funding to realize your concept?
The microgrant, depending on size, will go toward funding gaps in upcoming fixefests, especially a few that are being planned in concert with Deichmanske Bibliotek. The funds are used to make sure that all tools are available for the fixers, making sure that there is ample food and (non-alcoholic) drinks for the fixers during the event, and generating marketing materials that will better get the word out.
How do you contact the project? Visit them at the following links: