Anindita DATTA, Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi , India
Swagata BASU, Department of Geography, SSV College, Hapur, India
The gendered nature of violence and its ability to intensify multiple marginalities women experience from their social/ geographical locations is at the core theorizing gender in urban spaces of the global south. Space as an epistemological tool offers an alternative discourse for the amelioration of violence through strategies of recognition as well as redistribution (Fraser, 2003). In this paper we examine the violences faced by women in their matrimonial homes (sasural) against a continuum of urban trauma (dehshat) over the cityscape of Delhi. We argue that the violence of “normal times” (Kannabiran, 2005; Datta, 2016) are not so innocuously intertwined with events of acute trauma experienced by women due to their location in peripheral and poor urban neighbourhoods. These intersections of urban trauma, peripheral locations and violence intensify women’s existential anxieties and precarities. While the continnum of urban trauma is kept alive through a genderscape of hate (Datta 2016), feminist solidarities within the neighbourhood multiply women’s agential capacities and emerge as spaces of resistance and restoration to counter both the continuum of urban trauma and domestic violences (Basu 2020). Building from our past work as well as insights from fieldwork for the GenUrb project, we demonstrate that the kindling of women’s agential capacities is possible through knitting networks of care and offering support through legal aid. Creation of such restorative spaces ameliorates the impacts of both “slow violence” that urban life exerts on women in poor neighbourhoods as well as the “poisonous knowledge” (Das 2011) that the continuum of urban trauma and domestic violence subjects them to. Our fieldwork in Delhi within the GenUrb collaborative project amply underlines these arguments.
Keywords: Urban trauma|feminist resistances|poisonous knowledge|feminist solidarities