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The project interrogates the revelatory nature of social catastrophes, implicating and political injustice and imposed vulnerability in terms of inequitable impacts on certain population the non-West. Emphasizing the anthropology of slums in the city of Bombay on women and gendered minorities, this study observes the global economic and health crises in the post-COVID times –leading to a situation of socio-economic marginalization, temporal situations of displacement and deep contexts of otherness –manifesting broadly as state-centered biopolitical management, health, and neoliberal restructuring of pharmaceutical governance. Locating this context of liminality with particular experiences of communities, this study delves deeper with critical contextualization of lived experiences, and how these individuals makes sense of their situations.

Furthermore, the precarity and the fundamental uncertainty of their lives allows an intersectional study of gender, poverty and slum –as how, precarious economic and social states re-ignites new social hierarchies of exclusion and new modes of internal racialization. The emphasis of this study is also to focus on violence of the contemporary; recognizing the ethnographic specificities of the intersectional experiences of the potentially devastating situations of health, lived realities, habitation and housing, claiming citizenry rights, dignity and livelihoods, and the local political conjuncture in seeking sustainable restructuring of the roles and rhythms of their everyday ordinary social life.

The project is collaboration between Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) and the University of Cambridge. It is funded by The British Academy Visiting Fellowship 2023.





Dr Ahonaa Roy

Department of Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)


Professor Minna Sunikka-Blank

Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge