My name is Eleanor and I am a Masters student at Queen Mary, University of London studying Global Development Futures.
From my background in economic geography, I am interested people’s ‘infrastructural lives’ – how people encounter and navigate infrastructure within their everyday routines.
On the surface, what we think of as infrastructure might conjure up unexciting images of bridges, roads and government led development projects (that’s what I thought too). But by applying the concept of everyday infrastructures to the global South, how people access and use everyday infrastucture such as water, becomes imbuled in the messiness of politics and power (much more exciting).
My Masters project aims to bind these concepts into the idea of ‘hydraulic-citizenship’. Traveling to Varanasi, North-East India, I aim to look broadly at PM Modi’s government rhetoric of pro-poor infrastructural development, through the clean-up India campaign. At the level of the everyday, I am interested to find out how access to water is allocated both by the state and citizens themselves along lines of class, caste and religion, determining individuals’ rights and the effective status of their citizenship.
A new and exciting adventure for me – a shy 21-year-old – I hope to share with you my insights from Varanasi, my experiences of being a Western student researcher, and the ups and downs of academic life as they happen, though this blog ‘Life Stream’.