Ek Dozen Paani (One Dozen Waters)

As in many cities, in Mumbai we barely witness the passage of water from rain to sea via lakes, watersheds, pipes, pumps, pots, human and animal bodies, drains and sewers. Even as these hidden passages describe a unique social, chemical and political structure, a map of ourselves in the modern world.

More than many of us, residents in the slums of Jogeshwari spend time waiting and hurrying around this substance, its leaks and sources. As part of an investigation into the social life of water in these areas, Ek Dozen Paani is the result of a collaborative project between youth of two community organizations- Aakansha Sewa Sangh and Agaaz, with CAMP and Nikhil Anand.

Initiated in 2008, we worked through questions of “citizenship” and distribution by looking at how residents form relationships with water and its infrastructures: including official water supply, alternative plumbing, ground water, tanker politics, and so on.

As the name of the project suggests, water has several narrative flows, multiple scales and notes attached. The group has been shooting on their own, bringing their footage into a collective pool, writing over images in analytical, diarisitic or essay styles. What has emerged are a series of writings, short films and image-vignettes from four different slum areas, each one shot by one group and written over by another, collaboratively authored and edited.