Deep Streets: Speculation and Slow Violence in Dharavi’s Reinvention


Reinventing Dharavi

In September 2014, SEL collaborated with faculty and staff of the Spitzer School of Architecture in New York on a proposal for the Urban Design Research Institute’s Reinventing Dharavi Competition. Our project, titled “Deep Streets: Speculation and Slow Violence in Reinventing Dharavi” was long listed for the competition prize.

SEL’s ethnographic research shows that individuals relate to production in three distinct classes – entrepreneurs, marginal entrepreneurs or strugglers, and toilers. Each group organizes around infrastructures for increasing productivity (material flows, access, etc.) and decreasing risk (removal and quarantining of toxins). Existing production based organizations such as the All Plastics Recyclers Association manage these infrastructures and spaces constituted by individuals who identify socially by community and form of labor. Thus forms of organization, labor and community identities, habitation and governance of infrastructure in space are intimately and inextricably related.