The Karachi Urban Lab hosted a screening and panel discussion of the film "Life Cycle" which ethnographically and visually documents the everyday use of bicycles among Kolkata’s city dwellers. The film's director, Dr Malini Sur, investigates how cycling mediates people’s changing relationships to cities in South Asia. Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), the largest city in eastern India, is the primary focus of Life Cycle. This city has 1.68 million cyclists, records 2.5 million cycle trips a day, has the least amount of road space (6 percent) in metropolitan India, and has the second highest air pollution level. By 2017, traffic regulations prohibited cycling on seventy city roads. Who will win the battle for the road? The humble bicycle or the car?
The screening was followed by a panel discussion with the director, Dr Malini Sur (Anthropologist- Western Sydney University) and Manas Murthy (Architect/Urban Designer - University of Oregon). The discussion was moderated by Dr. Nausheen Anwar and included a Q&A session from the online audience.
The region of Thar in Sindh, Pakistan has had a particularly tumultuous history of development and has long been treated as a peripheral zone in national and regional discourse. However the process of urbanization in its two biggest cities, Mithi and Islamkot, was supercharged in 2012 when coal fields amounting to 175 billion tonnes were discovered near them. Now faced with a rapidly shifting landscape spurred by an influx of concrete and capital, residents of these towns - educators, economists, social activists, and merchants - grapple with their hopes and anxieties about the future, and try to envision what their place within this emerging metropolis might be.
Producers: Kevin Shi and Fizza Qureshi (Research Associates, Karachi Urban Lab)
June 9, 2019Tweet
Displacement and the Right to Stay Put in the Asian Metropolis" is a video documentary about evictions and displacements in one of Asia's largest cities, Karachi. This video documentary is part of a broader research project on logics of improvement, development and displacement in Karachi.