Alang, India is the magnificent product of every aspect of globalization. This beach of rust became the catacomb for retired ships and boats in the early 19th century: military, commercial, leisure, and cargo vessels all come here to be taken apart by the minuscule workers reusing and recycling each piece of metal or steel. It’s almost surreal to watch a ship be reduced to its skeletal design, nothing more than another decomposing beast; but this beast is of bronze and rivets, not skin and cells. The French have donated the most to this hallowed black beach, the waters browned by oil and the sand eclipsed by a city of dross and debris, mostly because of early colonial trade agreements between a feuding France and Britain. Currently, Japanese and Indian coalitions are working together to make the Alang shipyard less damaging to the environment it already obliterated. Honest to my heart, the pillars of smoke like pen ink writing our signature in the skies and muddy footprints between the heaps of scraps is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. It’s wonderful that even within the wastes of the things we forget, people find use and find livelihoods. There’s a certain optimism that is so fueled by this kindle. We’re alright.
Alang is the smoldering ash of the fiery expurgation of our pasts into the future of globalization and futurism. It is one of many sacrificed worlds given to the gods of progress to fuel this absurd drive forward in Absurdism. You can hear Camus rolling his eyes and you can see Marlow weeping in a fetal position somewhere riding the Ndjili River. It may seem horrific to make this city suffer for the greater good of these globalist leaps, but in the end it was simply an evolution of French and former British imperialism in the area. However, it is recovering and all things pass. This too shall pass.