Wednesday, March 22, 2023
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Trent University Durham (Room A125, Building A)
Waqas Butt, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Toronto Scarborough will speak on The Possibility of Reproduction: Work and Infrastructure in Urban Pakistan.
Like many cities in Pakistan, Lahore’s waste infrastructures depend upon the everyday labour performed by low- or noncaste (Dalit) groups. This form of labour—waste work—takes away and disposes waste materials from certain spaces and make them present elsewhere. Moving waste materials as they do across the urban landscapes, waste infrastructures are entangled with the spatial dynamics of uneven urbanization in Lahore. This talk traces such dynamics by detailing shifts in settlement, work, and life experienced by waste workers and their kin as they have migrated to Lahore’s urbanizing peripheries and come to labour in the city’s waste infrastructures over the past several decades. In particular, the talk argues for reproduction as a distributed process that unfolds across multiple though distinct spatiotemporal scales—from the intergenerational and domestic to the collective and individual. Delineating such scales highlights how forms of life built upon caste-based relations have not only been reproduced through their transformation in Lahore but also reveals the constitutive texture of uneven urbanization across Pakistan.
Roger Lohmann (email@example.com)