ScareCities: The Infrapolitics of Water in Mumbai
Dr. Nikhil Anand, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University
4pm reception, talk from 4:30-6pm
Pane Room, Alexander Library, 169 College Ave, New Brunswick
This paper draws attention to the dangers of scarcity narratives that accompany accounts of planetary urbanization. Through field research conducted with water engineers and settler communities in Mumbai, India, the paper shows how scarcity talk produces ecologies of fear that are powerful in denying water to the city's precarious populations. Next, as precarious populations are not permitted water connections, it attends to the infrapolitical negotiations through which millions of settlers access water in the city. Finally, the paper reveals the limits of infrapolitics by attending to the ways in which Muslim settlers are being disconnected from the city’s municipal water grid.