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Life, Death & Hope In A Mumbai Undercity

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

Katherine Boo, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a MacArthur Fellow, spent three years documenting the lives of people in the “undercity” of Annawadi, a squalid and overcrowded migrant settlement of some 3,000 people squatting since 1991 on a half-acre of land owned by the Sahar International Airport in Mumbai. Based on her reporting (in both The New Yorker and in her recently published book Behind the Beautiful Forevers), Boo discusses the lives and socioeconomic and political realities for some of the disadvantaged riding the coattails (or not) of India’s economic miracle. Lying in the shadow of luxury hotels, divided by a highway, surrounded by tons of garbage and a vast pool of sewage, Annawadi presents a stark contrast to the postcard picture of a new globalized and privatized, competitive India.