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The VMDH project bestows the compliment of being a mender onto a wide variety of specialists. Certainly, fixers of textile and clothing—a formerly menial, gendered, even shame-filled chore—are important here, but so is the conservator of a Ptolemaic period Egyptian coffin at the British Museum, a fundi simu phone repair expert in Dar es Salaam, or an artist whose medium is consumer discards. Scholars researching around the topic are definitely menders, and we hope that such projects being mapped en masse will lead to fresh and fertile collaborations.
Historically and customarily, menders are individuals of low status, no matter how deep their knowledge or subtle their craft, so that climbing the socioeconomic scale has required rebranding—to restoration expert, for example, or technical specialist, or surgeon. Here, that ontology is reversed, with rarefied professions filed under mending, fine artists listed as menders, and equal billing for all--including relevant historical figures. By a process of self-selection, the world, as mirrored on this map, is full of menders. Read more about mending here.