Homeless in mumbai (Borivali)

Documenting Critical Pedagogy Practices with Children living near a landfill in Ahmedabad.

( December 2019)  ongoing

I was introduced  to a group of ingenious Grade 8 students by my colleague, a social sciences researcher. Their homes and school are within a 1km radius of a massive 85 acre landfill. To make sense of the situation, I decided to go spend some time and support the ethnography research study through visual documentation.

The premise of her research is that traditional pedagogies might not be sufficiently enabling for these children who are marginalised and 'cut-off' from the State. To really grasp the reality around them they would have to go beyond and challenge authoritative views that are presented to them by textbooks, teachers, media and other socializing forces. 

I observed the group of children engage in participatory action research (as producers of knowledge rather than just receivers of information). And using my skills in journalism and fieldwork, I visually documented their shift in thinking during the process of learning.

A mobilised network of NGOs working on social justice, community development and environmental policy enabled the children to develop systemic lenses to critically consider the reality around them. Engaged as citizen-journalists, they  learned how to draft an RTI (Right To Information) to public authorities, analysed newspaper articles and the reliability of oral vs written sources. They also visited other parts of the city to understand it's heritage and distribution of social infracture. 

As part of the fieldwork, I visited their community over 7 days and helped co-organise some of the activites. During this participatory action research.

Seeing the resilience and curiosity to uncover reality; I discovered the children were not mere 'subjects' but rather agents of change.

Fumes from mountains of burning garbage make this a challenging environment to film in but people live, love and learn here everyday.

Homeless in mumbai (Borivali)
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