New Project: Recovery with Dignity

I’m starting a new project called ‘Recovery with Dignity‘ with a great set of researchers at the University of East Anglia and IIHS. We’re examining processes and impacts of representation and memorialisation in post-disaster recovery processes, with case studies in Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. As the project takes shape, the team is thinking and writing about post-disaster representation (who represents whom and what, when and why) and how perhaps pluralising representation can make it more inclusive.
We’re building on previous experiences in Odisha and Tamil Nadu where we found that short-term humanitarian assistance tends to overlook longer-term development impacts. In Chennai for example, we found relocation and resettlement are common ‘tools’ of disaster recovery but have longer-term social, economic, and intangible impacts on resettled lives and livelihoods. They also forefront multiple agendas – a removal of slums in the city, the thrust to vacate expensive real estate, the imperatives of reducing peoples’ hazard exposure, and in all of this, the daily lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations.

We aim to use creative methodological approaches to capture representation and memorialisation which I am particularly looking forward to. Watch this space for updates on the project and fieldwork!

Rising high, sinking low. Relocated households often find themselves in multi-floor housing like those pictured above, very different from the spaces of communal living they come from. Public spaces and parks, though planed for, are flooded because the buildings stood on low-lying marshlands. Many reported safety issues because in a colony of resettelers, there is no ‘community’ let alone cohesion. Chennai 2017. 

Published by Chandni

Environmental social scientist @iihsin Research climate change adaptation, livelihoods, development. Book hoarder, plant lover, doggo devotee.

3 thoughts on “New Project: Recovery with Dignity

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