Mumbai is a city of complexities. These often compete with one another— large-scale infrastructure against coastal forests, indigenous and informal settlers against urban policies, local focus against one which is global, money against equity, dynamic against static. Learning from the past, we must not approach them with an intent of controlled master-planning, but instead gradual, decentralized, localized growth of resilient systems. I believe that this could address issues of accommodation and integration of the urban-rural, as well as the coastal ecologies into the systems of the city.
I chose to keenly focus on a local scope of the networks of community and livelihood that the Kolis have developed on land and coastal waters which serves as a crucial point of negotiation with the larger context of the formalized city. This lent itself to a more detailed and robust production of work. The goal of this is to tap into the localized knowledge, the community itself and the aforementioned networks to facilitate a system of lo-tech dynamic mapping of the marginalized urban edges which include informal settlements and the mangroves.
The mapping technique that emerges is speculative to a certain degree while displaying a very personal representation of the Versova Koliwada and the Malad Creek at various scales. The maps expressly focus on the interconnectivity of the natural and the built brought through their adjacency, therein making a statement on the linked plight of the two. Making this visible in a way which it hasn’t before through techniques so approachable has the potential to open opportunities for marginalized communities and activist groups to have conversations with governing organizations rooted in spatial, empirical data, while simultaneously anchoring these communities in place through a revitalization of indigeneity for the contemporary and future city.