Posts Tagged ‘slums’

Slumdog Millionaire

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm


Last night I saw “Slumdog Millionaire” with a few friends at the independent movie theater downtown. There are two reasons to see Slumdog Millionaire–and you must see it; when it shines, this movie is incandescent. Neither reason is the plot, the story of Jamal, who serves chai to employees at an international call center in Mumbai and wins a spot on India’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Jamal is one question away from winning it all when he’s arrested and interrogated under suspicion that the product of Mumbai’s slums must be cheating to have answered all the questions correctly. But each question reveals a part of Jamal’s story, an answer he only knows because his life has been so uniquely terrible. In the end, of course, his story is a search for The Girl, the resolution of which I think was a little weak. Thus you get a good-enough plot, but one that’s probably been done better elsewhere honestly. Read the rest of this entry »


“This is Lagos”

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2008 at 2:50 am

I read The Megacity: Decoding the chaos of Lagos two years ago, and I will never forget it. It changed the way I will think about global cities forever. Now I can’t think of London or Shanghai or Dubai, and not think of Lagos too, out there, demanding to be reckoned with.

The impulse to look at an “apparently burning garbage heap” and see an “urban phenomenon,” and then make it the raw material of an elaborate aesthetic construct, is not so different from the more common impulse not to look at all. And that reaction is understandable, for the human misery of Lagos not only overwhelms one’s senses and sympathy but also seems irreversible.

This article, lingering in the back of my mind like a nightmare, was one of the things that made me want to do a blog like this. It propels me into the world. It makes me recoil.