Two Weeks in Photos

Accra, Bangkok, Chennai, Lima, Manila, Nairobi | 01/25/2013 12:09pm
Will Doig | Next City

Two weeks ago, we launched the Informal City Dialogues, with writers embedded in six cities around the world. Here are some of the images they’ve captured so far.


A woman checks out the merchandise at P’ Ae’s stall in Siam Square, Bangkok. After going to business school in London and working as a manager in the corporate world, P’ Ae decided to make a living selling earrings on the street.

Okada drivers in Accra wait for passengers near the Central Post Office. A popular form of informal transit for its ability to bypass traffic, drivers of okada motorcycle taxis are nevertheless stigmatized because of their image as criminals.

A bus in Lima prepares to enter the fray. A combination of soaring population, economic prosperity and cheap vehicles from Asia has flooded the city’s streets with cars, making bus driving a combat sport.

A student at St. Martin’s school in Kibera draws water. With few formal schools, women in the Nairobi neighborhood build and operate schools themselves, usually without pay.

In Chennai’s Lily Pond Shopping Complex, a figure lingers in the hall. The city has tried to formalize its street vendors by moving them into this building, but a lack of customers has turned the desolate space into a home for squatters.

Somjai Tuung-ngern, an elderly woman who preps plastic sheeting for recycling in Bangkok, checks the winning lottery numbers. She bought her 20 baht ticket with a loan.

The Nairobi skyline. A city of great inequality, the high-rises of Nairobi’s commercial district are just a short distance away from its sprawling slums.