The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) presents “Cargo in Question: Two Films about Labor, Shipping, and Globalization in the 21st Century” taking place on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. As part of this special event, Mae Miller-Likhethe, PhD and Charmaine Chua, PhD, both assistant professors of Global Studies at UC Santa Barbara, will screen two films—Cargo (2001, 29 minutes) and All that Perishes at the Edge of Land (2019, 31 minutes)—followed by a Q&A session and discussion (a full 90 minutes). The films, which blur the lines between fiction and reality, offer important insights into the daily lives, working conditions, and dreams of the seamen and shipbreakers across global supply chains. The cost is free for all SBMM members; free for students with student ID; and the price of admission for the general public. Space is limited, registration is required. Learn more and register at: https://bit.ly/cargo-in-question.
About the Films
Cargo (Dir. Laura Waddington, 2001, 29 minutes) is the story of a journey on a container ship with a group of Rumanian and Filipino sailors, who were delivering cargo to the Middle East. Most of the sailors weren’t allowed to leave the boat and they spent their days waiting, singing karaoke and telling stories in a small TV room. In Syria, the ports were military zones. The filmmaker hid at a porthole and secretly filmed the life below – a man stealing wood and a soldier fishing off the edge of an abandoned submarine – and later created a narrative that falls between reality and fiction in an effort to show the limbo these men were living in.
All that Perishes at the Edge of Land (Dir. Hira Nabi, 2019, 31 minutes) shows the Ocean Master, a decommissioned container vessel, and enters into a dialogue with several workers at the Gadani yards. The conversation moves between dreams, desires, places that can be called home, and the violence embedded in the act of dismantling a ship at Gadani. As the workers recall the homes and families they left behind, the long workdays mesh indistinguishably into one another, and they are forced to confront the realities of their work in which they are faced with death every day. How may they survive and look toward the future?
This event is generously sponsored by Marie L. Morrisroe.