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How the urban poor visualise their relationship with food

By February 14, 2021December 20th, 2023No Comments

A photo-essay based on the YUVA–IIHS study ‘Lived Experiences in the City’s Foodscape’

The YUVA–IIHS study aimed to understand the concept of food security amongst the urban poor and the interconnected nature of food networks to other issues of urbanisation. Among the research methodology used in the study was the use of photographs to visually comprehend people’s relationship with food.

Photography workshops were conducted with the participants of the study — residents of the informal settlement of Tata Nagar in Belapur, Navi Mumbai, and the rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) RNA Colony in Vashi Naka, Chembur. The workshop focused on helping people capture their representation of food and what they consider significant to their food systems. This photo essay presents a glimpse of the visuals contributing to the study.

The Twin Sites of the Study

The informal settlement of Tata Nagar, Behalpur, Navi Mumbai (left); Jai Bhim flagpole in the middle of the settlement (right). Photo credit: Aradhana
Alleyways in RNA Colony, Vashi Naka, Chembur (left) Photo credit: Anil; A street in RNA colony with residences on higher floors and shops at the ground level (right) Photo Credit: Farheen

Dynamics of access to food

Vegetable market set up close to Tata Nagar. Photo credit: Jai Singh
Mango season in Tata Nagar. Photo credit: Aradhana
Several vendors set up stalls on the way to RNA Colony, adding to the convenience of residents (left) Photo credit: Radhika; Grocery store in RNA Colony (right) Photo credit: Ameena

Lived Realities of Work

A resident of Tata Nagar carrying food items to set up shop in the nearby market. Photo credit: Jai Singh
A woman in RNA Park, the primary caregiver and income earner in her family. Photo credit: Shanti

Food-related Roles and Responsibilities

Photos from Tata Nagar. A resident preparing a meal in her home (left) and a woman washing utensils outside her home (right). Photo credit: Aradhana
A kitchen space in RNA Colony. Photo credit: Radhika
Kitchen gadgets offer some relief. Photo credit: Manoj

The Linkage between Rights and Inadequate Access to Food

Scenes from Tata Nagar. From top left — Residents continue to live in temporary homes due to the uncertainty of demolitions by the SRA. Photo credit: Mangal; Top right — Residents queue up daily to access water from the tap in the settlement. Photo credit: Aradhana; Bottom row — Negotiating space and rights. Photo credit: Aradhana

The Power of Community Networks

Sitting together and enjoying a chat. Photo credit: Aradhana

Read the complete study here.

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