Containment 5

Containment

Ursula Huws 

A baby sardine

Saw his first submarine

And cried as he looked through the peephole

‘Oh come, come, come’, said the sardine’s mum

It’s only a tin full of people

Spike Milligan, 1968.

The container is simultaneously both one of the most concrete examples of the economic logic that enables global capitalism to function and one of the most potent metaphors for the social life of the population whose choices are shaped by this economic logic.

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Masculinities 2

Dockworker Masculinities

Nelli Kambouri

Labour struggles in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) are dominated by tactics of controlling the limit between normal hours and overtime as well as occupying and bringing the port to a standstill. The division of labour along gender lines is a direct product of the composition of labour subjectivities that emerged in the docks in the long hours of paid overtime and striking. It may seem that dock work is stereotypically normalised as masculine only because in the past it required strong hands, but most of all it is the ability to work without having family or domestic care responsibilities that determine the gendered division of labour in the Port.

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From Greece…to Kolkata*

Ranabir Samaddar
Collaborative spaces and corridors the world over need to heed ground realities. The land-based “New Silk Road” will begin in Xi’an in central China before stretching west near the border with Kazakhstan, then as before will run southwest from Central Asia to northern Iran before swinging west through Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. From Istanbul, the Silk Road will cross the Bosphorus Strait and head northwest through Europe – Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Germany – to move further north to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. From Rotterdam, the path will run south to Venice, Italy, where it will meet up with the equally ambitious Maritime Silk Road.

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Greek Revival, Chinese Dreams*

Ranabir Samaddar

Piraeus port is witnessing a remarkable resurgence, thanks to international agencies. The ancient Port of Piraeus by the city of Athens is still not only the largest Greek seaport, but also one of the top 10 container ports in Europe today. A major employer in the area, it has nearly 2,000 employees and services annually about 24,000 ships. With the natural advantage of its strategic potential, the Athenian fleet defeated the Persians here in 483 BC in the battle of Salamis. In the following years Themistocles initiated the construction of the port and created the ship sheds, while the Themistoclean Walls were completed in 471 BC, turning Piraeus into a great military and commercial harbour. However the Port of Piraeus went into a long period of decline, the harbours were only occasionally used by the Byzantine fleet and later the Ottomans. Then, it revived.

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