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Radical Housing and Socially-Engaged Art

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I first explored Khirkee in 2008-09 for my Khoj-supported project City [In]visible through which I documented the relationship of these practices, as evident in Khirkee, to changes in the locality arising from socio-economic changes in the community. These changes were due to the influx of a range of working-class and artisan migrants from other parts of India, who found employment in small local workshops as well as in the large malls and private speciality hospital just down the road. Long-established Khirkee families began to rent living space to the migrants, the first outsiders to be assimilated into the area, and have since continued to profit from steadily increasing migrant presence. This presence also encouraged local micro-enterprises: eating places and shops supplying essential items from the migrants’ places of origin, as well as crucial labour-related services such as money transfer for migrants who send home part of their earnings.