Infrastructure and Logistics

Death traps: Holes in urban India

This article is an ethnographic study of potholes in roads in urban India. The article describes different forms of attention to potholes, including cases of media advocacy, clinical reflections on injury and attempts by an accident survivor to document danger on the roads. Throughout, it argues for attention to the embodiment of infrastructure, and particularly, how people move through infrastructures. The article stems from a broader research project about traumatic injury from traffic accidents, many due to potholes. Taking these cases as sentinels of urban wound culture, the article asks: What if urban theory took wounding as a characteristic feature of everyday urbanism? What might this mean for studies of infrastructure’s affordances, risks and embodiment?

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Volume 39 Issue 3

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