“Claims to loitering are fundamentally imagined as collective rather than individual. This sense of the collective is often missed by arguments that understand such protests as individualistic and neo-liberal (Shilpa Phadke, “Defending Frivolous Fun: Feminist Acts of Claiming Public Spaces in South Asia”, 2020:289).
Shilpa Phadke is a Professor at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She is co-author of the critically acclaimed book Why Loiter? Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets (2011) (together with Sameera Khan and Shilpa Ranade) and co-director of the documentary film Under the Open Sky (2016).
Today, shrinking city-space, an increasing privatization and
surveillance of public space as well as the ongoing socio-spatial
segregation make it even more difficult to imagine an inclusive space
where different marginalized groups and communities can come together to
disrupt the taken-for-granted segregation of people, hierarchies,
boundaries and build new alliances.
Ten years after the publication of “Why loiter?” and subsequent
emergence of a loitering movement in South Asian cities, Shilpa Phadke
reflects in her conversation with Nadja-Christina Schneider on the
continued relevance of key claims of the path-breaking book.