CL in new research project: ‘Disconnected Infrastructures and Violence Against Women: digital technologies in Indian cities’


CL are part of team that has won a major British Academy grant to study ‘Disconnected Infracstructures and Violence against Women’ in India. The project explores women’s knowledge of and safe access to urban infrastructure with the aim of creating safer Indian cities. It will use innovations in open source software and participatory mapping to address Violence Against Women (VAW) in low-income neighbourhoods in Kerala, India. And it will combine ‘software ethnography’ how big data on risk and infrastructure can be collected, structured, visualised and used by urban women and interviews and engagement with at risk women in two Keralan communities.

We think this is an important opportunity for lighting professionals and lighting scholars: we have the opportunity to directly study two core concerns for lighting – safety and ‘smart’ technology – but in a radically different context from the usual: we are looking at the (dis)connections betweeen lighting and the other infrastructures that make up people’s urban space; we will focus on gender safety; we are not only studying but participating as social researchers in smart technology development; and we are doing this in the global south.

Cannot wait to get started, particularly as we are part of a lovely team that comprises Ayona Datta (PI, Kings), Rakhi Tripathi (Fore School, Delhi) and from CL Jo Entwistle (Kings) and Don Slater (LSE), and we are partnered with Kalpana Vishwanath of Safetipin and the Keralan-based Sakhi Women’s Resource Centre.

The award was made under the British Academy Cities & Infrastructure research funding programme, part of its Global Challenges Research Fund. Details of the programme and other awardees can be found here.