Dr. Maura Finkelstein
Monday, October 29
4:30pm, Science Center 101
“Rumors, Strikes, and Industrial Debris in Mumbai, India”
This talk addresses the decline of Mumbai’s textile industry, once covering 600 acres of the central city’s geography. Now most mills have been closed and are being redeveloped into sites of middle class consumption (popularly framed as “mills to malls”). Lingering industrial spaces disappear beneath this emergent vertical city. One can now drive along overpasses, from downtown to the suburbs, without actually seeing these older and declining regions of the city. Such invisibility contributes to city-wide narratives of closed mills and dispersed workers. However the mill lands are still lively spaces, inhabited by resilient working class communities. This talk focuses on my ethnographic field site of Dhanraj Spinning and Weaving, Ltd, a textile mill still operating in Central Mumbai. Through worker engagements with labor strikes and rumors, I show the persistent life and labor of the remaining mill workers and unregulated industries inside the mill gates: the place in which formal and informal economies collide and life continues despite conflict, expected trends, and future projections.
Organized by Peace and Conflict Studies and Co- Sponsored by Asian Studies, Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.