Forest in the city: Contested informal settlements on the hills of Guwahati, Northeast India
Funding period: 1 February 2024 – 31 October 2024
Type of funding: International Fellowship
Snehashish Mitra works as an Urban Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a leading global policy think tank based in India. Mitra is based at ORF’s Mumbai office, where, Mitra leads the urban research and policy domain, with a focus on housing, public transport, environmental governance and inclusivity. He is actively collaborating with other urban practitioners in India to highlight pathways to make Indian cities more inclusive and equitable by incorporating issues related to women and queer community. Mitra is also a guest faculty at the Centre of Urban Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Previously, Mitra has held Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowship at Yale University’s Anthropology Department.
As a USF International Fellow, Snehashish will spend nine months working at the Sheffield University, under the mentorship of Dr Philipp Horn.
Snehashish has been researching urban issues in Northeast India and his work lies at the intersection of urbanisation, environmental justice and citizenship politics with a focus on indigenous groups and their claim-making politics. During the course of his academic work, he has engaged with housing and citizenship rights of people in Assam, India. His fieldwork experiences, conducted through ethnographic methods, have developed a keen sense of grasping peoples’ sentiments and ability to centre peoples’ experiences in policy and governance. He is also equipped with archival research experiences which complimented his interests in how the state thinks and plans to execute its programme and agendas. He has published widely in academic and popular media outlets in English and Bengali languages.
Snehashish is keen on utilising his academic understanding for policy implications, and fostering an equitable urban experience for people from marginalised groups. His work is focused on locating urban experience within a regional context and making sense of urbanism as an outcome of multiple factors raging from historical developments to recent financial restructuring.