Compact and bijou, compact and bijou…in the words of Stephen Fry to Hugh Laurie on an old TV advert. Well not quite bijou but definitely compact, these homes of a slum in Delhi’s Giri Nagar district. Certainly not the worst slum homes by far but also certainly not the best, though there is space to have built them bigger, why make them so small? Perhaps the tenants could not afford to pay an unscrupulous landlord for bigger space to build their own rooms. Perhaps the landlord is a lesser goonda than a more powerful rogue who has the rights over the adjacent space. Perhaps the owner is just inept. No matter, even in a slum a rent is payable to the local goonda, a hoodlum, who ‘owns’ the area, though most probably the owner of the land is the government and as such these slums are illegally built and could be bulldozed at any moment. Even though the slums could have been there for 30 or more years, the tenants have no rights to stay there or be rehoused if the land is wanted for some other purpose. The government could make these slums legal homes and collect rent themselves thus taking the power away from the goondas but this wouldn’t happen because that would acknowledge the illegality, unchecked, on their land before and also mean the homes would have to be made fit, which would involve bulldozing the lot, a no win situation. Slum space – the finite frontier.