"Ships’ graveyards are well known nowadays, we have written about it before and the work by Edward Burtynsky about shipbreaking helped to put this issue on the architectural arena again, while focusing on its geopolitical, social, economic and infrastructural implications. The cycle of extraction, production and recycling has demonstrated to be a failed system and the dystopic landscapes of places like Chittagong or Alang simply provoques an overwhelming reaction when we look at them.
Some of the worst disasters in the past years are related with industrial models and the micro-politics of power. This issue is being explored on the exhibition 'Critical Episodes' (MACBA, nov-des 2012), where we can read:
The dismantling of the traditional chains of production had direct consequences on individual lives. Societies and their relational systems endured radical changes, while a global scenario of control was gradually being put into place.
This is the leitmotif of Jan Møller Hansen recent work Graveyard of Giants. After travelling and visiting Chittagong and witnessing all the activities around ship breking, he researched for several years this issue, just to found out that the ship breaking industry in Bangladesh is estimated worth an annual turn over of around 1.5 billion dollars. Globally some 700 ocean-going vessels are scrapped each year, and more than 100 of them are scrapped in Bangladesh. Some of the ships are 350 meter long with a weight up to 10-15.000 tons and it has become a big business, employing more than 50,000 workers, without any formal worker-management relationship or legislations."