chapter  2
35 Pages

Experiments in slums, 1999–2006

WithSuman Gupta

This chapter examines the complexities of characterising territories as ‘slums’ in relation to technological initiatives. Specifically, how slums feature in Indian political, legislative, media and academic discourses is considered via the so-called ‘hole-in-the-wall’ experiments from 1999 to 2006. These experiments concerned the use of networked computers for primary education. It is argued that, despite their scientific appearance, these experiments and the celebratory reception they had were inadequately grounded in the material conditions of slums. Those conditions are outlined for the period in question, one which saw significant moves towards bringing the private sector into development projects.