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Densities of Repair: Altering Making and Repair in Times of Despair

Authors: Hung-Ying Chen*, Durham University
Topics: Urban Geography, Social Geography, Asia
Keywords: density, temporality, repair, maintenance, Hong Kong
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This article moves ‘repair’ away from the crafting and making economy and shift the focus to reconsider densities of repair emerging from the times of despair in Hong Kong. Drawing on the housing politics and the 2019 series of protest on the anti-extradition campaign in Hong Kong, this article discusses the notion of ‘densities of repair’ by tracing the ways that material crafting and repair are utilized in the hyper-dense urban livings and in responding to geopolitical aggression. This article draws on three accounts of socio-spatial temporalities: The first account depicts the routine organizing work of housing activism in Hong Kong. It illustrates how the making and repair are repurposed for community organizing meanwhile offering quick-fix to maintain people's livings in the endless ‘waithood’ for improved housing stability. The second features making/repair emerges from protest contingency. It draws on scenes that mundane materials were pooled and weaponized against the excessive use of crowd-control weapons. The third type of making/repair politics explores the phenomenon that sees categories of ‘repair’ being articulated to actions of vandalism during protests. To this end, this article contributes to rethinking repair politics not only with materiality but also politicizing the relationship between repair and temporalities.

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