‘A Million Skies, Whose Ground?’: ReDrawing the Floating Landscape of Rental Housing and Tracing the (non-)Normative Urban Crisis of Bangalore, India

Authors: Chan Arun-Pina*, York University
Topics: Sexuality, Gender, Urban Geography
Keywords: rental housing, non-normative gender and sexuality, autoethnography, India
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 4:30 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Regency Ballroom, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With dramatic population increases over the last decade, a shifting economic landscape, and expansive institutional and IT campuses of historic and national value, Bangalore is one of India’s most rapidly urbanizing cities. Such an urban trajectory has led to an exponential population growth, where Bangalore tops the urban districts with an increase of 47% in the last decade (Census India, 2011) and an average inflow of 20 lakh per day of floating population to the city (BBMP town planning department, 2018). Parallelly, the city has witnessed a steep increase in the land and rental values where a potential tenant is charged a rental deposit of ten months before they move in. Locating such an urban crisis firmly in the conventional, and heteronormative practices of constructing, and imagining rental housing, this paper will discuss “floating” as layered and, deeply co-constitutive of one another: first, built — floating landscape of urban rental housing, where the upper floors are rented, but the ground floor is predominantly occupied by the owner-landlords of a multi-storey (hetero-normative) family house; second, lived — the precarious living conditions of presumably the predominant vulnerable-potential-tenant within the floating urban population such as multiple marginalized migrant students and workers, single working women, and queer-identifying young adults; and third, felt — a focused autoethnography, as a single trans-identifying migrant student occupying two different rental living arrangements in Bangalore, India, through tracing and re-drawing as important research method to resisting (cis-hetero-)normative spatial pedagogy and practice.

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