ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Nikhil AnandSubscribe to Nikhil Anand

After Breakdown

This paper builds on the work of Steven Jackson to theorise the breakdowns of hydraulic infrastructure not as exception, but as an ordinary condition of living with infrastructure. Rather than take breakdown to be an interruption in the life of infrastructures, it is suggested that breakdowns be read as an initial condition from which new infrastructures emerge through the labour of maintenance and repair. Drawing attention to the extraordinary labour of plumbers, municipal employees and engineers, the paper argues that the invisibilities of infrastructure are themselves contingent on the invisibilisation and subjugation of maintenance workers, who are placed beyond sight to regularly and constantly work to make water flow again.

Disconnecting Experience

In recent years, there has been a spate of interventions proposed to transform Mumbai into a"world-class" city on the Shanghai model. As this article suggests, the developmental state in Mumbai is intent on producing the modern world-class city through the construction of roads. However, this proposed development assumes that it will benefit everyone who lives in the city: a matter of public interest. Yet, the public who is being imagined thus as a putative beneficiary, is rather "exclusive". In Mumbai, the notion of public interest disconnects millions of people in the city from substantial citizenship particularly because of the privileged positions occupied by those who envision and operationalise Mumbai's projects of world-class development.

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