Re-writing Delhi: cultural resistance and cosmopolitan texts

Butcher, Melissa (2009). Re-writing Delhi: cultural resistance and cosmopolitan texts. In: Butcher, Melissa and Velayutham, Selvaraj eds. Dissent and Cultural Resistance in Asia’s Cities. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, pp. 168–184.



As a consequence of converging global capital, technology and migration Delhi is an example of the transformations and spatial inequalities that are marking cities in Asia. There have been ongoing campaigns against this remodelling into a ‘Global City’ that has involved the displacement of tens of thousands, including alternative forms of resistance taking place in interstitial spaces. This paper analyses the work of a Delhi based non-government organisation (NGO), Cybermohalla (Cyber-Neighbourhood), as a particular form of cultural resistance. The essay will argue that Cybermohalla’s work is an example of ‘cosmopolitanism from below’ (Kothari 2008), developing creative competencies, including translation skills and imagination to manage processes of urban transformation and segmentation.

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