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

RepairSubscribe to Repair

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.

Cultures of Repair

The labour of repair rooted in tutelage and kinship, and the loyalties and discontents that surround repair worlds regulate social order. They recast questions of interdependence and difference in cities. Kolkata’s cargo-cyclists and repair workers who assemble and maintain these old vehicles redeem the city from its disrepairs. Their location and lives are read against the history of capital, contemporary infrastructure building and the logistics of labour. While tutelage fulfils the promise of labour for those who were previously excluded from it, the kinship fostered in Kolkata’s repair worlds continues to keep workers at the margins of capital and profits.

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,...

Gujarat : Earthquake Plan Prepared in Haste

The rehabilitation package, prepared in unhealthy haste by the government, is based on conventional bureaucratic understanding and interpretation of people's needs and priorities. While it is incredibly vocal about estimates of damage, the specific delivery mechanisms are unclear. Also, it completely ignores the problems of economic rehabilitation of the survivors.
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