Dimensions of religious place-making: Pavement religion

Urban space in Mumbai is used extensively.

Pavements are no longer used mainly by pedestrians , but they have long since been “flooded” by small-scale hucksters, vendors, and retailers (Appadurai 2000). Likewise, religious structures keep on appearing on the roadside. In many cases, small, modest, improvised religious structures appear out of ritual actions or devotional objects. Sometimes, these structures take on a more stable materiality. Pavements are as productive in religious terms as in other areas of consumption. Yet, given the dominant focus on stable groups and middle-class audiences, this kind of pavement religion has so far never been analyzed. In order to do so, the project will select three busy roads (distinguished by centre/periphery, primary religious affiliation of neighborhood, and class) and recurrentlyconduct field-mappings during the project period with a focus on the processes of religious micro-dynamics. The resulting documentation will be made available on the project’s website.

The observation, documentation and analysis of the sites and surrounding practices will be conducted by PhD candidate Anna Charlotta Østerberg.

(PhD project)