This year’s Sarai Reader brings together a range of critical thinking on urban life and the contemporary, marked by spreading media cultures, new social conflict and globalisation. Scholars, media practitioners, critics and activists use a flow of images, memories and hidden realities to create a fascinating array of original interventions in thinking about cities today. In the context of India, where a large part of this reader has been edited, this is significant, given the frugality of writing on city life in this part of the world. With essays, images, analyses, and manifestoes The Cities of Everyday Life reflects on the contemporary urban condition, detours into the back alleys of the global city, takes on media representations of terror and war, examines the politics of information, anticipates the futures of digital urbanism, registers the details of media flows, explores representations of the city, and looks at globalisation from below.

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