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Department of Architecture


The department is thrilled to announce the release of ‘A Room in Mumbai’, a film collaboration between us, Calling The Shots, AHRC and BBC Arts. This film us part of AHRC ‘Animated Thinking’ film series, combining research and professional animation.

This film is about today’s slums in India. In Mumbai, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) is building high-rise flats to house former slum residents, but this transition has adversely and radically affected the lives of women.

In slums the women do everything outside, but in SRA housing the cooking, cleaning and child rearing practices have all moved inside. The design of the buildings fails to deliver sufficient daylight and ventilation, but using fans and lights costs money. The women are forced to choose discomfort and distress. They have health problems, no access to childcare and no jobs. The film tells the story of one woman in the process of moving to SRA housing. All voice contributions are based on real interviews recorded on-site. The film is based on the research of Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank, Ronita Bardhan, Anika Nasra Haque and their team. 

The AHRC research programme, Research Network Filming Energy (FERN), led by Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank, uses short documentary films as a method to understand domestic practices and energy demand in slum rehabilitation in Mumbai and Cape Town.