October 16, 2011

Container ships, we hardly knew ye


Just threw a couple more logs into the wood stove.  Mighty chilly here today.

One of my online pals sent me a link to some pictures by a fellow name of Edward Burtynsky.  He’s a photographer who says his theme is “nature transformed through industry.”

One of the sections on his website is called “Shipbreaking.”  A whole bunch of photos of industrial container ships — or really, their skeletons  — in their final resting places, rusted out on the shore of Bangladesh.  Sort of like a graveyard of hulls.  Sad but majestic too.

"Shipbreaking #4," 2000. Photo by Ed Burtynsky.

They’re hard for me to look at, because I hate to see these great old vessels looking like husks of their former selves.  But Burtynsky explains a little bit about why he does what he does:

We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success.

The people wandering around in the shadow of the ships give me pause.  I love spotting ships.  To see folks scavenging around these “ship graveyards” for spare metal and the like…

These ships bring everything to everybody in the world.

Seems like the distribution’s off, though.

Off to reheat my Sanka.

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