CAPITALISM AND CITIES IN TRANSITION


This brief photographic survey using the mobile phone documents the recent rise in interest and activity of capitalism in the Chow Kit neighbourhood. This work focuses on a few areas; one being the activity of targeted advertising on low-wage earners and the migrant community, and how unregulated advertising in this area transforms the architecture and cityscape of this locality.


Another aspect of this survey looks at a more destructive encroachment of the capitalist enterprise in the form of redevelopment through private initiatives which results in the privatisation of public space and the community’s loss of space, agency and ability to conduct business, trade and seek a livelihood in Chow Kit.


As capitalist appetites grows in Kuala Lumpur, expansion is at the heart of its interest. Chow Kit sits between the grand projects of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), the recent development on Jalan Putra and urban housing development plans which is pushing out of Mont Kiara and Duta into Segambut and Sentul.


Chow Kit’s existence as a cosmopolitan locality which has a rich migrant heritage that has thrived culturally, economically and historically through small businesses and trade is now coming under serious threat.

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