Delhi Digests: A sketchbook on e-waste



Delhi Digests is a Sketchbook on E-waste and as such it is an ongoing space to explore ideas and collect materials to reach a better understanding of what the question of e-waste in Delhi entails. Through videos, photos and a series of conversations with activists, waste-pickers, urban planners, journalists and bureaucrats, Delhi Digests includes multiple voices and images to explore how citizens, state and corporations coexist. It suggests a political take on e-waste, looking at it as an indicator of democracy and a measure of equity in society.

Artists often maintain sketchbooks to explore, document, organise and revise ideas.  They evolve from rich, spontaneous journeys of gathering information, awareness and realisations about a theme. Sketchbooks are a kind of collage, a series of non-linear associations of ideas and information. They seldom seek to be comprehensive or conclusive. Taking inspiration from this concept of the sketchbook, we have created Delhi Digests as an online platform to present multiple perspectives on e-waste, and critical overviews which combine qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. Delhi Digests proposes six stories and different keywords to navigate these complex debates. The combination of these multiple layers allows an alternative geography of Delhi to emerge and provides insight into how a city is shaped by what it digests.

Delhi Digests employs a creative and interdisciplinary approach to aggregate and present information on e-waste through infographics, statistics and databases, maps, photographs, video and audio material as well as interviews with and testimonies of individuals and organisations. This information was aggregated through two visits to Delhi and the support of Toxics Link and the All India Waste Pickers’ Union.  In presenting this information we’ve tried to expose the many controversial positions on e-waste through the realities of people associated with its management.

The Delhi Digests Sketchbook on E-Waste  is a practical exploration of a broader theme of work we’ve called ‘Exposing the Invisible’. With our ‘Exposing the Invisible’ projects, we aim to reveal the hidden commentaries, politics and realities about an issue through the artful and careful curation of information about it.  And so the Sketchbooks are also another iteration of an idea and a practice that we call Information Activism.

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