From Ship to Shore: A Cultural Geography of Seafarers
Free Public Lecture
This lecture explores the cultural geography of maritime life, focusing on the changing relationships between ships, seafarers and shores.
Sea mobilities have always connected people, places and things and the volume of goods conveyed by sea is ever-increasing. However, the maritime transportation of goods is rapidly changing with increasing ship size, mechanisation and containerisation. Subsequently geographies of seafaring are also transforming: ships require fewer crew, seafarers spend extended periods of time at sea and opportunities for shore leave are significantly reduced. Piracy, shipwreck and abandonment are just a few of the problems merchant seafarers face. Separated from their friends and families for many months, with little access to communications at sea, they can also experience loneliness and isolation. And, while working long hours is part of life at sea, it often leads to fatigue and exhaustion.
This seminar reveals how these changing cultures and experiences of seafaring are transforming the relationships that seafarers have with each other and with people and places in port cities. It further illuminates the historical and contemporary role of the Mission to Seafarers, who support seafaring communities in all major ports, in facilitating these encounters.
Professor Uma Kothari, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, School of Geography, University of Melbourne
Professor Uma Kothari
Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, School of Geography, University of Melbourne
Uma Kothari is Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester and is currently ViceChancellor’s Fellow, School of Geography, University of Melbourne. Her current work includes research on humanitarianism and solidarity, mobilities and borders and, cultural geographies of seafarers. She is the principal investigator on an ESRC funded project on Everyday Lives and Environmental Change and a GCRF funded project on Artbased Education in Fragile Contexts. She is Vice President of the European Association of Development Institutes, on the advisory board of In Place of War and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.