Author Archives: Laleh Khalili

Domination, Dispossession and Struggle in the Making of Infrastructure and Logistics

Last night (20 February), Deb Cowen (Toronto), Charmaine Chua (Oberlin), Rafeef Ziadah (SOAS) and I had a conversation about the politics of infrastructure and logistics.  Here is the recording for the event:

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, finance and insurance, infrastructure, logistics, Middle East, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Offshore

In one of the most significant environmental decisions the Trump administration has taken, a ban on offshore drilling was lifted on 4 January 2018.  The New York Times reported: While the plan puts the administration squarely on the side of … Continue reading

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Religious fable about infrastructure

Source: Siyar al-Muluk by Nizam al-Mulk (died, 1092). Translation by Navīd Zarrinnal: “”They say when Umar was about to leave this world, his son asked him: “When will I see you?” Umar replied: “In the next world.” His son said: “I … Continue reading

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The use of free ports to stash arts

Interesting older item from New York Times on the use of free ports to stash away artworks (and other contraband): The drab free port zone near the Geneva city center, a compound of blocky gray and vanilla warehouses surrounded by train … Continue reading

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The poetry of medieval maritime travel

I have been reading Arab navigation manuals and travelogues, and there is such poetry in the navigation manuals in particular. It is the liminality of the navigation texts in particular – between art and science, familiar and wholly other.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, seafaring, the sea, Travels, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Medieval Arab Naviation

“More interesting is the testimony of Ibn al-Mujawir who reports that in 626 A.H./1228-9 A.D. a ship arrived in Aden from Qumr (Comoros or Madagascar); the art of navigation of the people of Qumr impressed him as superior to that … Continue reading

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Of Ballast and Land Reclamation

That extraordinary image is from some time in the 1970s, and the container-ship steaming so serenely in Hudson River is a Jugolinija ship belonging to the Yugoslav national shipping line.  What is of course poignant about the image is that … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, construction, environment, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, political economy, transport, Uncategorized, war | 1 Comment