Opera Ballet Flanders organises repair café during performance to highlight sustainability
On Thursday night, the Antwerp Opera was not only the setting for the family performance 'Rizoom'. During the show, there was also a repair café in the Opera's foyer, where some 25 items belonging to audience members were repaired. With the initiative, Opera Ballet Flanders wanted to draw attention to sustainability.
"People could bring in their stuff, watch the performance and then take it home," Wilfried Eetezonne of Opera Ballet Flanders told VRTNWS. In this way, the organisers wanted to draw attention to sustainability, which the family performance 'Rizoom' was also about.
"There is a lot of recycling in the show. For example, the costumes came from a costume workshop and were recycled," Eetezonne said. "Sustainability is very important to us at Opera Ballet Flanders and frameworks within that show, so we thought: we'll pull that through to the foyer and see if it's a success tonight."
"There are people who have broken stuff and there are people who can fix it."
Repair Foyer, as the initiative was called, was organised in collaboration with volunteers from Naaipunt and Posthof. "There are people who have broken stuff and there are people who can fix it. They found each other and I think that's just fantastic," said repairer Wilfried.
Not only the initiators but also the visitors were enthusiastic about the initiative. Repair Foyer was organised as a one-off for now. Opera Ballet Flanders is looking into whether it can schedule a repair café more often.
Repair cafes are not an exclusively Belgian phenomenon. More and more volunteers are rolling up their sleeves to repair things in, the Netherlands, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and dozens of other countries. According to the website repaircafé.org, there are 2,501 worldwide with an estimated 37,515 participating volunteers, accounting for some 45,018 items repaired per month.
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