Category Archives: ships

Guardian piece about the explosion in Beirut

note: I wouldn’t have used the word “lawless” in the title, as the laws in maritime world are carefully devised to facilitate the accumulation of capital. The sea has always been the site of law — and the law has … Continue reading

Posted in bureacuracy, capital accumulation, environment, infrastructure, logistics, Middle East, political economy, ports, seafaring, shipping conditions, ships | Leave a comment

SSRC: A Time Capsule for Future Social Researchers

On 15 May 2020 I had a really great conversation with Indian Ocean historian Dr Saarah Jappie about a visual artefact that should be included in an SSRC time capsule on COVID-19. Here is the result of the conversation: Inspired … Continue reading

Posted in labour, logistics, media, shipping conditions, ships, the sea, transport | Leave a comment

Interview with Diepgang magazine

In January I gave a talk at the Erasmus university in Rotterdam. I was incredibly pleased that a lot of seafarers and people working with seafarers came to see it (and some were also critical of the talk – they … Continue reading

Posted in labour, media, ports, seafaring, shipping conditions, ships, transport | Leave a comment

Recent lecture: Tankers and Tycoons

Here is a link to a talk I have given a few times, most recently at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. It is a talk I am hoping to turn into an article, but which requires a bit more … Continue reading

Posted in imperialism & colonialism, labour, logistics, Middle East, oil, political economy, shipping conditions, ships, transport, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pop Containerization

So, not long ago, a graffiti artist, JR Artist, who flyposted a whole bunch of CMA CGM containers so that CMA CGM Magellan looked like this (at least until the next port where the containers had to be unloaded; I … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, ships | Leave a comment

Malta to Dubai on a freighter

It all started off with this FT piece by Horatio Clare, whose book (a meditative reflection on ships and travel on the sea) was about to come out.  I had just finished reading Rose George’s amazing book on her travels on a … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, ports, ships | Leave a comment

Carbon Capital in Motion

I have already written about ships as workplaces, and of workers held captive on ships.  Now, the NY Times reports on a massive floating refinery which is going to look for fossil fuels in the Indian Ocean.   The ship is … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, environment, infrastructure, oil, political economy, ships | Leave a comment

Other uses of ships

The Guardian reports that the Libyan legislature has taken refuge in a Greek car ferry: A Greek car ferry has been hired as last-minute accommodation for Libya‘s embattled parliament, which has fled the country’s civil war to the small eastern … Continue reading

Posted in infrastructure, Middle East, ports, ships, transport, war | Leave a comment

How the (closure of the) Suez Canal changed the world

The segment of my January/February container-ship journey I am most anticipating is passing through the Suez Canal.  Here is what Horatio Clare writes about his passage through Suez: Unfinished wars lie under all our horizons.  The chart on which Chris plotted our … Continue reading

Posted in infrastructure, Middle East, militaries, political economy, ports, shipping conditions, ships, transport, war | 2 Comments

Hitching a lift on a US aircraft carrier

The Super Hornet bombers that dropped 8 500-pound JDAM bombs on Islamic State forces in Iraq had flown from the aircraft carrier USS George H W Bush, afloat in the Persian Gulf.  It is one among at least 5 Navy ships and 3 ships … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, militaries, readings, ships, war | Leave a comment