Category Archives: Travels

Pirate Jenny: Labour and capital in Khor Fakkan

14 February 2015 in Khor Fakkan port After several hours of watching the unloading of the ship, and after walking on the port to go to the duty-free shop (to buy a new memory card for my camera), it is … Continue reading

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Anyone’s Ghost: Fishing grounds of the Arabian Sea

12 February 2015 Morning We passed Salalah in the night, and the sea is not as lonely as it was yesterday, with the AIS showing at least 5 or 6 ships at a time (when it was sometimes entirely bereft … Continue reading

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Machineries of Joy: Wrestling with the technological sublime

This one is for my friends Rachel Shabi and Waleed Hazbun, who might recognise something of the pathos of our common paternal utopias in it… 11 February 2015 “Hyperbole is the main stock in trade of publicists, boosters and even … Continue reading

Posted in Allan Sekula, capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, logistics, Middle East, political economy, readings, the sublime, transport, Travels | Leave a comment

About Today: Steaming the security seas

10 February 2015 Everything anticipated our entry into what I can only call security seas. There are ships that do not send signals: they turn out to be warships of a sort, small, compact, going only at 7 knots with … Continue reading

Posted in empire, imperialism & colonialism, militaries, piracy, seafaring, transport, Travels, war | Leave a comment

A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes: The factory at sea

9 February 2015 20.00 “Going forward and glancing over the weather bow, [… the] prospect was unlimited, but exceedingly monotonous and forbidding; not the slightest variety that I could see.” Herman Melville, Moby Dick For the next few days, we … Continue reading

Posted in Allan Sekula, capital accumulation, labour, literature, Melville, Middle East, political economy, readings, seafaring, shipping conditions, transport, Travels | Leave a comment

Reading Capital 2 on a containership

8 February 2015 You begin to realise how much Marx actually crafted his writing when you compare Capital I to Capital II.  The former is beautifully edited, funny, extensively footnoted, erudite, and with a gorgeous narrative structure that inexorably push … Continue reading

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Shim El-Yasmine: Suez Canal

8 February 2015 “the great current of human inclination is to enjoyment.”  Karl Marx, Capital Vol. II I want to be more jaded.  After all, my nautical venture is an all-expenses-paid research trip – the best of both worlds: doing … Continue reading

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Une Année Sans Lumiere: Encounters before Suez Canal

7 February 2015 15.00 Last night I was invited by the Filipino crew members to one of the crew members’ birthday party. He is an engine -fitter and he will be turning 40 tomorrow.  The crew recreation room unsurprisingly had … Continue reading

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Grace: Departing Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali:  At last at sea 5 February 2015 11.00 Occasionally in the night, the ship bumps against the berth and that is when one remembers that one is not on solid ground. I can’t wait for our ship to … Continue reading

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Es Mejor Vivir Asir: Still in Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali; First impressions 4 February 2015; 10.00 Malta time After what seemed like an interminable wait for the transport to take us (myself and three Croatian officers) from the hotel to the port, I am onboard the ship.  I … Continue reading

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