Research interests: Environmental anthropology, social movements, political ecology, materiality, bureaucratizing landscapes, local governance, infrastructure
Research area: South Asia, India, Mumbai
I am a social anthropologist with a research focus on environmental and urban governance in India. I aim to address questions of coastal conservation and state politics by studying everyday uses of infrastructure and encounters with local bureaucracies in Mumbai.
As part of the Emmy Noether research group, ‘Sand— the future of coastal cities in the Indian Ocean’ I am interested in the social, political and environmental role of sand in the ever-shifting coastlines of the Indian Ocean.
My ethnographic project focuses on the Coastal Road Project in Mumbai to examine networks of informal economies and political realities inherent to and mediated by sand. I plan to work with fishing communities impacted by the construction of the road to reveal how land reclamation practices, coastal zoning, and other state interventions produce ecological urgency.
The project will probe notions of durability and flows of sand to propose a rethinking of the relations between extraction, commodification, and materiality. Here, tensions between the operations of sand mafias and informal labour practices across Mumbai will allow to capture the social capacities of sand.