Violent Remnants: Infrastructures of Possibility and Peril
Chapter 6 uses waste and its analog—water—as a lens to chart the political contours and affective dimensions of the city's infrastructure over the twentieth century. It documents how the material design and architectural inertia of infrastructural systems shaped different groups' capacities to acquire political control, economic mobility, and moral credibility. This chapter asserts that studies of infrastructure need to account not only for the lifespan of technological artifacts—construction, breakdown, and repair—but also for the complex forms of technopolitical violence that slowly emerge from corporeal, earthly, and material interactions. Bodily and earthly matters challenged colonial aspirations for infrastructural governance. The material configuration of the city's colonial-era waste system has enacted persistent, enduring forms of harm and suffering in post-independence times. Taking a historical perspective, I show how water and waste systems have been articulated through bodies and earth in unexpected, transformative ways across deep stretches of time.