Cultures of Repair: Understanding Value Through Storytelling in the Sailing Community

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Gillard, Matthew Robert




As a society in climate crisis, we need to address issues of disposal. We need to make change at an ideological level to adopt cultures of care, repair, and stewardship to lengthen material life cycles and combat economies of waste. I repaired an abandoned fifty-year-old Catalina 27 named Decision as an investigation of cultures of care in the sailing community. Parallel to this practical study of boat repair, is the conceptual lens of maritime storytelling. Here, storytelling is used to connect the qualitative narrative to ideas related to material life cycles. The work uses anthropomorphism to broaden understandings of value and material life cycles. Four autobiographical vignettes of Decision are interwoven with narratives of materials and components each with their own experiences, life, and death. Through a process of care in writing, listening, research, and narrative building, the stories add value and give agency to the materials giving them a voice.






Carleton University

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