This project involved small site construction workers and their families in Bangalore, India. It attempts to come to a closer understanding of these nomads and provokes a discourse about larger issues of marginalization.
Migrant construction labourers, the building nomads, form a large part of the unorganised labour in India. Contracts are short term and the labour is compelled to move frequently. These workers are not known to people at the sites at which they work and they do not stay in one place long enough. In most cases they do not speak the local language to build social ties that would give them a sense of belonging.
What makes this particular situation of interest is the direct relationship actions of labour have to being physically displaced. While the completion of a house is the start of a new dwelling for the owner, this completion means a displacement of their meager, temporal dwellings of the building nomads and their families. These labourers exist in spaces hidden from sight yet often in full public view.
This piece presents a child’s perspective of the situation of the building nomads. Jyotika was seven years old at the time that the piece was made.