Post-Industrial Area Landscape

Post-Industrial Area Landscape

This project explores the emergence of new economic and cultural geographies in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. It represents a conceptual exercise in tracking these geographies both by following the traces of the industrial and urban experience associated with the industrial age and by focusing on the histories of contemporary construction, geared toward consumption, leisure and urban beautification through the active destruction of existing and potential communities.
The concerns of the project have changed over time to encompass the emerging realities of Mumbai’s space. The issues addressed include large-scale industrial closures, the emergence of industrial ruins and questions of heritage and the pathways of contemporary social and spatial development.
Two separate research projects have developed under this rubric, described below. Both build on documentation, especially visual documentation and mapping. In addition to the documentation and publications associated with the individual projects, ideas of post-industrial space and the conceptualization of heritage specifically associated with Mumbai as a post-industrial city were explored in a report submitted to the UNESCO, co-authored by Pankaj Joshi (PUKAR Associate), Vyjayanthi Rao (PUKAR Associate and former Co-Director) and Rahul Srivastava (PUKAR Associate and former Co-Director)
Infra-City: Space, Violence and Speculation in Post-Industrial Mumbai
Infra-City is a research project concerned with rethinking the post-industrial condition from the vantage of Mumbai’s experience. The project traces the meaning and the concrete impact of the quest to turn Mumbai into a “world-class city” by visualizing a city beyond maps and mapping the one produced from various acts of inhabitation. As an ethnography of new modes and sensibilities of inhabitation, the project investigates emergent landscapes within the city at the conjuncture of space, technology and human activity. The ‘nature’ of urban nature and of urban experience, as an outcome of the intertwined histories of citizenship, urban planning and modern infrastructure-building, is a central object of inquiry. The project posits a conceptual contrast between the built environment and the space of living as being crucial to understanding the emergent relation between ethics, politics and aesthetics under conditions of uncertainty associated with globalization.
This framework enables visual research and documentation, specifically around those sites that together constitute a spatial route, representing the historical trajectory of industry and labour in the city. As an anchor, the project treats these infrastructural sites as an archive, to pursue an archaeology of urban transformation and change. Vyjayanthi Rao is the Principal Investigator for this project.
A series of articles, focusing on speculation, density, infrastructure and modes of conviviality have been published as outcomes of this research.
(details available on: www.socialresearch.newschool.edu/anthro/faculty-profiles.htm)

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