Dharavi is one of the world’s largest informal settlements. It is a neighborhood of Mumbai and has a population of at least a million. However, many people have an inaccurate picture of its squalor.
Dharavi is also home to a number of small-scale enterprises. Its residents are known for their creative spirit. For instance, pottery kilns are a prominent part of the urban landscape. These kilns are square tombs with a furnace inside. When you enter Dharavi, you may notice that waste materials such as paper, glass, metal, and plastic are recycled. Individuals collect these items for processing and shipping.
In 2007, the Observer sent a reporter to the area. He was impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit and the fact that the residents are able to earn a living. The Observer noted the slum’s air quality as well.
There have been a number of books about the area. Imtiaz Dharker’s Blessing is an example. Other books include Slum Dog Millionnaire by Danny Boyle and Comics Epidemic by Jorge Manes Rubio. Some of these have been based on the experiences of foreigners who visit the area. Others have centered on the region’s art.
There has been a lot of discussion about Dharavi in the media. For instance, the slum was featured in a BBC news clip. Another example is the new Design Museum Dharavi, which opened this month. This museum has a mission to change the perceptions of informal settlements.
During the first two years of the project, the organizers used a series of collaborative workshops dubbed Artboxes. Each of these involved experts and community participants. Four core themes were chosen to be incorporated into the exhibition. One was the best thing to happen to Dharavi.
It was the first time that a slum was exhibited in India and one of the best examples of a true collaborative process. Several artists, designers, and other professionals took part. Their work was on display at the Design Museum Dharavi.
It has been mentioned previously that there are at least four types of art that can be created in Dharavi. There is the obvious artwork, the slumscapes, the local craft, and the ‘other’. Although the slum has received the most press, all of these are worthy of attention.
The best way to show the artistic merits of Dharavi is to show the work of locals. Dharavi has several small-scale industries and businesses, and it is a place where hundreds of thousands of people earn a living. They are able to sell their goods to the rest of the country and the world.
There are a number of reasons that people don’t feel at home in the slums. This could be cultural, socioeconomic, or even a lack of privacy. People who have visited the slums, however, have a different perspective than those who haven’t.
There is a lot of room for improvement. The city is already half the size of Central Park. Dharavi needs more attention and mainstream media coverage.