Mayanka Mukherji is a DPhil candidate in Anthropology. She is currently carrying out her fieldwork, which is focussed on empty homes located in the Sutton Estate and the Cadogan Square, both based in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, one of the wealthiest areas in Central London. While the former location consists of empty blocks of council housing that have been declared ‘uninhabitable’, the latter holds some of the most expensive empty mansions of the city. Through a study of these contrasting empty spaces, Mayanka’s research attempts to draw out an ethnographic portrait of emptiness through its various beneficiaries, stakeholders, fears and rumours.
She completed her MPhil at Oxford in 2017, which also focussed on urban spaces through the study of the movement of waste from the centre to the peripheries. She carried out her fieldwork in New Delhi, and developed her thesis as a series of ethnographic short stories based on the daily experiences of the informal waste workers and their engagement with objects of waste.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Delhi. She also enjoys writing and reading poetry, and has been performing Spoken Word for the past few years in New Delhi as well as Oxford.