I was sitting in on an introductory sociology class last week and was exposed to this incredibly evocative image for the topics we have been, and will be, discussing over the course of the semester. The airoots/eirut blog from which it comes talks about the rhetoric of (academic, intellectuals’) response to urbanization and the dichotomization of high rise versus slum: and how even though the reality of things on the ground is much more complex, images like this are employed to heighten that seemingly simple dichotomy. It’s important to keep that in mind even when narrowing down our focus to topics like water availability and access: while this photo is illustrative of the various extremes that come up – just look how every balcony has its own pool, as well as the larger pool sit within the well-watered lawns of the high-rise complex! – it takes a more critical and open-minded framework for really evaluating the specifics of water rights, battles, and issues in their local, historical context. What jumps out at you in this photograph?
the slum and the high rise