Urban Undesirables: City Transition and Street-Based Sex Work in Bangalore

Neethi P, Anant Kamath | 2022


This book, based on nearly four years of ethnographic fieldwork in Bangalore, redraws, rewrites, and relooks Bangalore city and its transformations over three decades from the viewpoint of the city’s female, male, and transgender street-based sex workers. Our homage to the thousands of these urban informal workers, who are blacklisted as ‘undesirable’ and considered hazards to the ‘ideal public,’ but who have their own unique imaginaries of this city.

In mapping out their spatial and social ecosystems and experiences with technology, the analysis of their experience is anchored to concepts around neoliberal urbanism, gender, labour informality, and the politics of technology. We take an unconventional journey through their spaces, comrades, and battles to announce and affirm their individuality and agency through their empowerment strategies, and through their struggles to reclaim their spaces and assert their identities as informal workers and legitimate citizens of the city.