Jai Sen


Jai Sen

Room: FSS8010
Office: 6132822900
Personal E-mail: jai.sen@cacim.net

Jai Sen


Jai Sen - based now in New Delhi, India, and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded Anishnaabe territory – is an architect by training and first practice, then a social housing and planning activist around the rights of the labouring poor based in Kolkata, India, and moved on to becoming a student of the history and dynamics of movement in the 1990s, doing depth studies on movements and campaigns for people’s rights to a secure place to live in dignity.

Subsequently involved in the organising process of the World Social Forum in India during its first year there, 2002, he has since then intensively engaged with and taken part in the WSF and world movement through the organisation he co-founded and is still associated with, CACIM (Critical Action : Centre in Movement).  This has included as author, editor, and/or co-editor of several books and articles on the WSF and on the dynamics and globalisation of movement, as co-organiser of a series of events and encounters at WSF events, as moderator of the listserve WSFDiscuss – now succeeded since May 2017 by WSMDiscuss (World Social Movement Discuss) -, and as coordinator of OpenWord.  His forthcoming / current books (2017) are The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? and The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance.

Seeing critical reflection as a potent contribution to building transformative power, much of his current work, and his work over the past decade and more, has been / is around creating spaces for reflection in and on movement, in different media.

For those interested in more detail :

While in Kolkata during the 1970s-80s, Jai Sen was co-founder of Unnayan, a social action group, an office-bearer of the Chhinnamul Sramajibi Adhikar Samiti (‘Organisation for the Rights of Uprooted Labouring People’), and Convenor of the NCHR (National Campaign for Housing Rights) in India (1986-91), and represented Unnayan on the founding Board of the Habitat International Coalition during 1987-91.

One of the major outcomes of this period of work – through collective work successively at Unnayan, the Chhinnamul Sramajibi Adhikar Samiti, the National Campaign for Housing Rights, and of the Habitat International Coalition - was the formulation of a radically new concept of the ‘right to housing’ as the ‘right of every woman, man, and child to a place to a place to live in security and dignity’, and the carrying of this concept countrywide and then worldwide, and including its acceptance by the UN during the 1990s.

During his period of research during the 1990s-early 2000s, Jai Sen was a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research during 1992-95, a Visiting Fellow at different institutions in India, The Netherlands, the UK, and the US during the 1990s, and Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow during 2004-06.

He also taught courses as a Visiting / Sessional Lecturer at Carleton University in 2006 and at the University of Toronto in 2011.

Jai Sen has two daughters, Jayita and Diya, by his late wife Anita Sen who died in 2002, and was then with Julia Sánchez during 2005-2015.

Office Hours: FSS8010 Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-5 pm (in 2017, September 7 - October 26)

Back to top