Art in water and sanitation research in Nepal: a performance with sanitation workers

Hannah Macpherson, Alice Fox, Ashmina Ranjit, Andrew Church

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper documents and discusses the creation of a performance (dance and song) by 12 sanitation workers in Nepal working with artists Alice Fox (UK) and Ashmina Ranjit (Nepal). This creative work was one element within an international, interdisciplinary research programme that explored shit flow, wastewater and marginality in five rapidly developing off-grid towns. Performed at the Lumbini Peace Park as part of the 2022 Women of the World Festival, an important objective of the work was raising awareness of issues affecting sanitation workers, who are among the most precarious workers in the world. Using photos and artist commentary, ‘we’ (geographers and artists) show how the performance (un)seen (un)clean opened a creative space through which to engage and circulate the lived experiences of workers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural Geographies
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Thanks to the British Council, Lumbini Development Trust and Women of the World Nepal, Lumbini 2022 for their support. The research and performance were also funded through Economic and Social Research Council Global Challenges Fund Research grant number: ES/T008113/1 on the project Brown Gold Towards Brown Gold?: Reimagining off grid sanitation in rapidly urbanising areas in Asia and Africa.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts
  • Collaboration
  • Creative methods
  • Geography
  • interdisciplinary
  • Nepal
  • Performance


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