Defying Delhi’s enclosures: strategies for managing a difficult city

New research publication from the SING:E project:

Reflecting wider debates on the city as a site of coercion and opportunity, Delhi is marked by the coordinates of both cultural nationalism and neo-liberal aspiration. The former positions the city as a site of cultural pollution, at times claiming ‘western lifestyles’ have contributed to gendered assault. In juxtaposition, Delhi’s neo-liberal landscape positions the female body as a valued commodity, iconic of ‘globalised living’, embedded in discourses of autonomy and modernity. This article will argue that these entangled cultural constructs have created a city of threat and discomfort that problematizes women’s access, be it for livelihood or leisure, enclosing women within coordinates not of their making. Yet rather than acquiesce to this urban topology, the agency of the single, middle-aged, middle-class women in this ethnographic study extends our understanding of the agonistic relationships within urban space, and the capacity to negotiate them using practices of avoidance, deception, adaptation, defiance, and care, at times creating their own enclosures in the process that enabled access to the city. Age and class as well as gendered expectations impacted on the available resources and outcomes of these negotiations, revealing the diverse possibilities of urban living that can enable pockets of social and political flourishing even within a difficult city.

In Conversation with Korean film director Lee Hyuk-sang

Pleased to be holding a ‘conversation’ with Korean film director and activist, Lee Hyuk-sang, at the Korean Cultural Centre, London, 02 November.

Lee Hyuk-sang is part of the Pinks collective of activists and filmmakers, tackling subjects such as LGBTQ rights, workers’ struggles, and state violence against citizens. The London Korean Film Festival is screening three of their most recent works (Two Doors, The Remnants and Goodbye My Hero).

LIDC presentation: Promoting Gender Equality

Presenting in the London International Development Centre doctoral training seminar series, 25th January.

How can we promote gender equality in rapidly developing cities?