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

Jonathan Shapiro AnjariaSubscribe to Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria

Slumdog Millionaire and Epistemologies of the City

Much of the critical and popular controversy surrounding the 2009 fi lm Slumdog Millionaire is derived from misconceptions over the representational possibilities of popular fi lm, as well as the overwhelming national framework of fi lm criticism. By locating the ways in which the dystopic aesthetic of Danny Boyle's earlier fi lm, Trainspotting, is energised when it meets the Mumbai slum, this essay argues that Slumdog explores the role of informal knowledge in the navigation of changing urban landscapes. In this way, it is not despite, but through, the fi lm's refusal of realist generic conventions that it offers its interpretation of the city.

Street Hawkers and Public Space in Mumbai

Street hawking is generally considered as a "menace" or an "eyesore" that prevents the development of Mumbai as a world-class city. But this article explores the essential presence of hawkers in a city, which requires a critical understanding of the functioning of public space. The experiences of hawkers in Mumbai, as elsewhere in India, have taught them not to fear a regulatory state, but a predatory one, a state that constantly demands bribes and threatens demolition, against which a licence provides security.
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