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New publications by Pablo Holwitt

Dr. Pablo Holwitt (associate member of the SAI, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Institute for Ethnology) recently published two articles, one article on urban transformation in Mumbai in the magazine Antipode and an article on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on urban mobility in India published in the magazine Body & Society.

Constructing Classes and Imagining Buildings: Urban Renewal and Transactions between Concepts and Materialities in Mumbai

Antipode, A Radical Journal of Geography, Volume 53, Issue5

This paper deals with multi-directional transactions between concepts and materialities in contemporary processes of urban renewal. Building upon insights gained from debates about the nature of materialities within urban geography, I treat buildings as complex associations of materials, technologies and human beings that are informed by concepts about social stratification and that simultaneously enact these concepts in the physical-social landscape of the city. Processes of urban renewal therefore need to be understood as both conceptual and material interventions in the setup of the city that restructure the built environment, patterns of cohabitation, experiences of the urban and notions of self and other. I illustrate this approach with recourse to the case of urban renewal in the city centre of Mumbai, arguing that high-rise buildings emerging from urban redevelopment projects translate the heterogeneity of the Indian middle classes into a spatial vocabulary that contributes to the creation of new social categories.

You will find further details here.


Governing Corporeal Movement in India during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Body & Society, Volume 27 Issue 4, December 2021

This article explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the relationship between bodies, risk and mobility. Drawing upon ethnographic data from India, it is argued that measures taken by the Indian government to contain the spread of the pandemic link mobile bodies to the notion of risk which has profound consequences for the way in which people access and engage with public spaces in Indian cities. In this process, a new type of body – the risky mobile body – is produced. At the same time, these measures run into problems due to the volatile nature of knowledge about bodies and diseases that they rely on. While the mobility of the COVID-19 virus is a subject of public debate, the fluidity and open-endedness of mobile bodies makes them difficult to regulate. This mismatch between governmental logics and unknowable bodies constitutes a significant challenge for the fight against the pandemic.

You will find further details here.

Wednesday, 12. January.


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