Facing language problems in Peru’s new coffee economy
Communicating care has been swiftly ritualized in the pandemic, from rainbow paintings to birthday horn-honking caravans to nightly cheering of workers through city streets. These actions show dearness accruing at points of need and suggest that the language of care provides one kind of sustenance across a straining society.
Gossip and rumor are important informal modes of communication, influencing public opinion and individual actions. But, the distinction between information and falsehood can be difficult to see.
When I began my fieldwork on sanitation work in Bangalore, India, the city had already suffered two decades of class polarization and environmental degradation, after being marked as a site for low-cost solutions, back-end support, and offshore expansion. So, I should have suspected that the paradoxes of progress would leave me tongue-tied: lost in my mother tongue (Kannada), along with everyone else’s.