Published: Thursday 15 February 2007

The site under review introduces us to the work of the Gender and Space Project. Undertaken by the Mumbai-based Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research, the project focuses on gender as a category to examine the ordering and experience of the city and its varied spaces, particularly public spaces.

The project is located in, and focuses on Mumbai. Research on this project combines traditional social science research such as ethnography, interviews and group discussions along with methodology drawn from the areas of film, photography and architecture. The project also has a strong pedagogic component involving elective courses in architecture and liberal arts colleges and short workshops.

The project aims to understand the hierarchies and boundaries that determine access to public space along a variety of factors class, caste, religion, geographic location and gender. But the project is not just academic.It has undertaken several campaigns to highlight issues of livelihood, about making public places accessible, about gender equality and law. Photo exhibitions, documentaries and books are also key to its sensitisation endeavour.

It hopes to unsettle the gendered binaries regulating women's presence in public space, raising questions about the ways in which ideas of private-public, respectability-unrespectability, safety-violence, rational-risky are reflected in the discourses of public space and citizenship.

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