We have launched a Storymap to illustrate our visual data on urban infrastructures and VAW gathered in a local low-income neighbourhood, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Intimate Infrastructures shares the narratives gathered from women living in this neighbourhood in the peripheries of the city on their everyday experiences of infrastructure in their local neighbourhoods and the city at large. These narratives are shared via interviews, mental maps and photographs.

Please click HERE to view ‘Intimate Infrastructures’ storymap

https://kingslondon.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=c2b4c2c3446948d882ca6dbb60456e4f

‘Intimate infrastructures’ is a way of seeing and understanding how infrastructure, in their absence, disconnectedness and exclusions are woven into the intimate material and social relationships of urban life. These intimate relationships with infrastructure can be perceived as forms of violence or can actually materialise as Violence Against Women (VAW). Intimate Infrastructures presents an important – often neglected – perspective on research on urban violence, infrastructures and violence against women.

Combining GIS data gathered via Safetipin through their infrastructure auditing mobile phone apps, crowd sourced and survey data from Recycle Bin, based in Kerala, and basic infrastructure data from the the local municipality and MapmyIndia.com, we present a series of ‘top-down’ maps representing how uneven and disconnected access to infrastructure in the city is for certain communities such as women in low-income communities.

These top-down maps can then be compared with how women see, experience and navigate the city from the intimate scale. An annotated and impressionistic map of the local neighbourhood represents the stories and perspectives of women on infrastructural blindspots and areas of ‘unsafety’ in the neighbourhood. These blindspots can be reinforced through disconnects in social and digital, as well as physical infrastructures. A series of mental maps also highlights the differences in how the intimate city is seen and experienced by women in low-income, often marginalised, communities.

The Storymap is an ongoing and live project and will be continuously updated as our project progresses, with a policy map, guidelines for stakeholders co-developed with our partners and further data from our second field site in Kochi, Kerala forthcoming.

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