The Fence is the Territory

This is a series of photographs that documents the visual evidence of territoriality at the morning flower market in Bangalore. Within this periodic marketplace, a metal fence appears repeatedly at various locations demarcating vehicular and pedestrian zones. The flower vendors seem to use the yellow fence to both mark and defend their territory.

The fence is randomly positioned – sometimes to place flower garlands and sometimes to create small enclosures within the large expanse of this urban space. 

The boundaries are both physical and non-physical drawn both by the vendors as they sell flowers and by the public as they walk through this undefined market zone.

The site of the marketplace is a meeting point of many important roads in the city and also the edge of the large commercial district of Chickpete with the as its core. 

The vendors sell flowers here every day. No one asks questions as long as it is before 8am. The vendors continue to sell, customers continue to buy.

After 8am, the cars, buses and auto rickshaws increase and the vendors are gradually edged out by the traffic police. What seems to be legal before 8am becomes illegal after 8am. 

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About Kiran Keswani 36 Articles
Kiran Keswani is Co-Founder, Everyday City Lab, an urban design and research collaborative in Bangalore that focuses on the everyday practices of people in order to develop a people-centric approach to urban design and planning.