Bricolage Within the Imperial Divide: Introduction to Iftikhar Dadi and Elizabeth Dadi’s Jugaad
Jugaad continues Iftikhar and Elizabeth Dadi’s extended artistic investigation of informality in the Global South, which arguably constitutes the majority experience of this vast region. Development became a central problematic for Africa and Asia in the wake of political decolonization of the mid twentieth century, encompassing the ambition for formal planning of large-scale infrastructure and state intervention in human development. But this project was always incomplete and resonated in complex ways with the tenacious growth of informal living and working arrangements whose legacies can be traced back to the colonial era. Informality is amplified in contemporary globalization that is often understood as a process in which transnational brands and lifestyles replace their local analogs. But this view overlooks globalization’s shadows—the largely invisible processes of labor, production, and consumption that transpire in the vast informality of the Global South. This is a realm of exploitation, but also one of immense productive capacities, in which branding and intellectual property regimes are constantly challenged by those who seek to fashion and animate a world from affordable materials and inventive rubrics.
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