Category Archives: construction

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

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Train whistles and futures

I am reading two books simultaneously through both of which trains rattle and whistle and snake…  But which in some ways are as different as they can be.  Bill Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis is a panoramic history of the making of Chicago in the … Continue reading

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From Tegart forts to shipping containers

Christian Science Monitor reports that the British are building watchtowers along the Lebanese-Syrian border: “A lonely fortified watchtower built from stacked metal shipping containers, topped by a bullet-proofed observation booth, and protected from shrapnel and assaults by 18-foot-high walls of … Continue reading

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The Leisure of Transport

I have had -broadly speaking- four large and interconnected set of research interests thus far: Palestinian commemoration of political violence -massacres and battles, heroes and martyrs; the counterinsurgency work of US, Israel and colonial militaries; the politics and political economy … Continue reading

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Shipping Containers as Shelters

Shipping containers, as I wrote before, are fascinating things.  Deb Cowen’s superb new book has on its cover an amazing photograph of shipping containers tumbling atop two destroyed cranes in the aftermath of the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan. Shipping … Continue reading

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Mohammad Al Fayed and the ports business

It seems like Mohammad al-Fayed (of Harrod’s fame – and obviously many other ventures) was also in the port business.   In 1964, he entered a deal with Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti, whereby he invested $5 million in the … Continue reading

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