On Repair: Between Cosmopolitics and Decoloniality

Twitchin, Mischa. 2022. On Repair: Between Cosmopolitics and Decoloniality. Performance Research, 26(6), pp. 54-61. ISSN 1352-8165 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Adopting the term from the work of French-Algerian artist, Kader Attia, this essay reflects on what ‘repair’ offers for a reading of decolonising practices of knowledge, addressing the cosmological besides the historical. In contrast to the ‘modern Western’ expectation of the work of repair, in which a break or wound is rendered invisible, Attia advocates the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of kintsugi, in which repair is even highlighted with gold dust – an illumination of fracture that foregrounds an object’s transformation through the visible simultaneity of both the damage and its repair. Repair, here, is a thought-image of and for an anti-essentialism, challenging a cultural politics of ‘identity’ in which claims of and for an ‘original’ status that has been lost could be (ideally) redeemed or restored. The following discussion explores the resonances of this conception within an iconology of decolonialism, where the conceptual potential of repair connects with a cultural politics of what one might call ‘demodernism’ – addressing a correspondence, rather than simply a break, between pre- and post- in the historical self-definition of the ‘modern’.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


23 June 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

27 Jun 2022 09:55

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2022 09:55

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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