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A Room in Mumbai

How rehousing from slums to high-rises has adversely affected women’s lives in Mumbai.

This film is about today’s slums in India. In Mumbai, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) is building high-rise flats to house former slum residents, but this transition has adversely and radically affected the lives of women.

In slums the women do everything outside, but in SRA housing the cooking, cleaning and childrearing practices have all moved inside. The design of the buildings fails to deliver sufficient daylight and ventilation, but using fans and lights costs money. The women are forced to choose discomfort and distress. They have health problems, no access to childcare and no jobs. The film tells the story of one woman in the process of moving to SRA housing. All voice contributions are based on real interviews recorded on-site.

The film is based on the research of Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank and her team at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge. Their Arts and Humanities Research Council research programme, Research Network Filming Energy (FERN), uses short documentary films as a method to understand domestic practices and energy demand in slum rehabilitation in Mumbai and Cape Town.

Animation by Gabriela Bran.

The film is a Calling the Shots production for the Arts and Humanities Research Council supported by BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine.

Release date:

6 minutes