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Professor, School of Habitat Studies, TISS, Mumbai

Date & Time

Thursday Thu, 30 May 2024


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Consisting of a complex of hazardous port-related industries and marginalised populations, Mumbai’s east coast was first produced as a site for furthering British imperial designs and later Indian nationalist ambitions. More recent government interventions seek to (re)value this industrial landscape through new infrastructure that prioritises marine logistics, real estate development and ecotourism.

Both these imaginaries of the east coast are founded on capitalist projects of land reclamation that ‘forget’ its watery history. They also cast aside those who inhabit the coast differently, such as the indigenous fishing community of Kolis. Yet numerous fishing villages of the Kolis hug the city’s coast, revealing older, now forgotten, traditions of inhabitation based on ‘living amidst wetness’.

This talk foregrounds their stories to help recover worlds that relate to the movement, relations and knowledge mediated by water as opposed to land, pollution and propertied ownership. Dwelling in these wet stories might urge new dialogues and public action to address current environmental crises and reclaim other ways of being for Coast and City. A Q&A with the audience will follow.


Lalitha Kamath

Professor, School of Habitat Studies, TISS, Mumbai

Lalitha Kamath is an urbanist who teaches at the School of Habitat Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She has written on the politics and uneven impacts of urban governance, planning and infrastructure. She has also engaged with questions of public participation and social mobilizations in her writing and through membership in different city collectives. Since 2017, she has been engaged in ethnographic work in fishing communities on Mumbai’s east coast to understand changing conceptions of urban climates, inhabitation, and value at the water’s edge.