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Samprati Pani

Samprati Pani

I am a walker, writer and social anthropologist. I have lived in New Delhi for over two decades and walked in the city for as long as I can remember. I walk to buy groceries from the neighbourhood market; I walk to exercise; I walk to spend time with friends, old and new; I walk to reach somewhere and not reach anywhere, to explore unfamiliar places and know familiar places anew, to be solitary and to be part of the world.

Currently, I am a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Max Weber Forum for South Asian Studies, New Delhi, and am working on a project on repair and maintenance practices in urban marketplaces of India. My doctoral research work was on the making of ordinary streets and bazaars of Delhi through intersections of urbanism, design and spatial practices. Walking as a technique of doing ‘slow anthropology’ is central to my research practice, involving a continuous process of attuning myself to and becoming part of the rhythms of the worlds I’m engaging with. My research also explores the diverse techniques, itineraries and rituals of walking that city dwellers use to forge intimate ties with places in the city and maintain the public character of these places. In addition, it seeks to understand changes in the city that disrupt or inhibit walking practices through surveillance, gentrification and architectural tools.

I am the editor of the blog Chiragh Dilli, which explores forms of writing the city. I collect images from my walks and write of little things on the street—shops, objects, characters and conversations—my walks revealing forms of inhabiting the city, the self and time. My work draws inspiration from a wide range of women scholars and writers, from Jane Jacobs and Rebecca Solnit to Doreen Massey and Virginia Woolf. My writings can be found on my blog

attitudinal walking

For walks/walking practices employing one or more conscious intentions or attitudes.

Added by Sonia Overall

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