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The afterlife of things in a Delhi Junkyard: Liminal debris of consumer culture
Published in Economic and Political Weekly
Volume: 53
Issue: 46
Pages: 45 - 51
The trajectory of “things” that are declared obsolete is mapped to argue that a junkyard is not merely a repository of the redundant, but also a liminal space between waste and trash, as well as use and reuse. An exploration of a junkyard in the Mayapuri neighbourhood of Delhi reveals how value is extracted from waste, bypassing the imposed norms of planned obsolescence in order to induce life into the lifeless. A complex set of relationships between the imposed rules of obsolescence and actual practices of a junkyard are observed to argue that “waste” is not merely matter out of place or matter without place, but it is essentially matter on the move. © 2018 Economic and Political Weekly. All rights reserved.
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