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

Articles by Nausheen H AnwarSubscribe to Nausheen H Anwar

Ustaads, Shagirds, and the Drudgery and Virtuosity of Breakdowns and Repair

Maintenance and repair work constitute an important part of a thriving urban life, in this case, in Karachi, Pakistan. The connection between breakdowns, and repair and maintenance practices is looked at along with evaluating the promises around development and modernity. This is done by understanding the work dynamics of the ustaads and shagirds who form the backbone of all kinds of repair work.

Keeping Cities in Motion

As the cities in South Asia transform into global or “world-class” cities, the lives of those who construct, repair, and maintain these cities are changing. In this collection of articles on repair and maintenance in South Asia, we foreground how the repairers and maintainers of Kolkata, Karachi,...

Receding Rurality, Booming Periphery

This paper advances new perspectives on peripheral urbanisation in South Asia by drawing attention to Karachi’s rural land transformations. It considers the shift from the metropolis to the agrarian–urban frontier as a process that signals the production of a new value regime centred on the devalorisation of a rural economy and its transformation into urban real estate, as well as the changing priorities and preferences of the state. It proposes that Karachi’s agrarian–urban transformations can be understood as value struggles that pivot on three interconnected processes: strategies of enclosure for the production of private property; accumulation by dispossession that separates rural populations from the means of subsistence through direct extra-economic force such as the state; and “value grabbing” or the appropriation and distribution of (surplus) value through rent between diverse state and private actors. Given that this is a deeply political process, the state’s role remains salient in terms of its alliances with varied groups—real estate developers, politicians, brokers, waderas —to make land available for capital.
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