RLC Bonn PhD student Amit Kumar from India presented his research proposal titled ‘Contested Urban Development: Resistance, Negotiations and Daily Life Struggles of Slum Dwellers
in Mumbai, India’ at Department of Political and Cultural Change (ZEFa) on Thursday, 9 March 2017.
The central focus of his research is to understand how forms of individual and collective resistance by slum dwellers influence the process of urbanisation in India. The work of Medha Patkar’s (RLA 1991) Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Aandolan – a right to the city movement – is an important case to his studies on the collective resistance of slum dwellers in Mumbai. Amit Kumar’s
research aims at the alternative imagination to the existing urban structures in relation to globalization.
The first module of the PhD course, “Critical Urban Theory: Citizenship, Marginalities, Livelihood Struggles and Innovations in Practice” took place in Mumbai, India from 4 to 8 of January.
Report by Dr. Maryam Nastar, LUCSUS
The joint Phd Course is organized by Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and its Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation (CLSI).
During the first module of the course, TISS (CLSI) hosted around 15 students from India and Sweden together with LUCSUS faculty. Over a week of lectures and heated seminar discussions, students discussed how critical urban theory on issues surrounding redevelopment of slums can potentially contribute to bringing housing and other urban spaces under democratic control.
As a part of the course, the Right Livelihood Laureate, Medha Patkar held a public lecture in TISS. Participants listened to her inspiring and powerful voice and her extensive experience of mobilizing community and slum dwellers to access to shelter and basic services. Known as an influential icon for the struggles in India and beyond, Medha Patkar talked about various social and political actions led by her to oppose to slum rehabilitation projects that are poorly communicated to the residents of affected areas, and thus, have been instruments for evicting people with no alternative houses or right to land.
Organized by TISS modular course students and faculty and inspired by Medha Patkar’s public lecture, the participants visited her grass-roots initiatives and slum improvement projects in Mumbai, over a day of fieldtrip to East Vikhroli.
Informed by the course materials and insights gained from the field visit, the participants explored and discussed driving forces behind displacement as well as activities that can support the community struggle against constant fear of eviction and homelessness. This was performed during last day of the course and in the format of student group presentations.
The course was rounded off with the LUCSUS faculty’s panel discussion wherein teachers presented some of their ongoing research, and together with PhD and Master’s students, they discussed objectives and rationale of grass-root initiatives and social movements.
The second module of the course will be held in Lund, Sweden from 4 to 8 of April, 2016.
LUCUS invites all the eligible PhD candidates to register for the second module by 15 February. More information about the course content can be found here:
RLA Laureate Wes Jackson’s Land Institute and Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies intend to establish a long-term research initiative with the bold aim of advancing a new agriculture. A sustained commitment in terms of funding and research enthusiasm for 10-15 years is envisaged. Continue reading →
The RLC campus at the Lund Centre for Sustainability Studies is strengthening its research capacities. A long-term cooperation with RLA Laureate Wes Jackson’s Land Institute will start in 2015. After having secured funding for a 15-year period, a fully-fledged trans-Atlantic research consortium between the two institutions is foreseen. Continue reading →