With an unprecedented rise in air pollution, environmental degradation and ever-widening socioeconomic disparity, everyday life in South Asia involves living within and amidst toxicity. But does ‘toxicity’ only mean contamination? Is it always visible? In this seminar series spanning over the coming months, we attempt to unpack the multiple meanings and complex logics of ‘toxicity’, tracing its different material and structural forms through an interdisciplinary lens. We turn to a range of questions and sites in India – historical and contemporary, urban and rural, intimate and collective – to consider how we might expand our understanding of these toxicities and how political, economic, technological, and social interventions might be re-imagined. How do different forms of toxicity intersect? How do they affect identities and landscapes? What are the implications for policy-making and governance? In turning to the thematic concern of ‘toxicity’, this series endeavours to map a breadth of distinct yet related forms of slow violence and ecological and political messiness, and asks if and how we might excavate from these the possibility of a sustainable, egalitarian future.
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