These are the boats that made us

From the Caribbean Basin or Mauritius to Venice or South Connemara, island spaces have been woven together not by the big ships of commerce and diplomacy, but by little family boats that have often rested in shallow noosts along the shore. Uniquely adapted to local land- and sea-scapes, as well as to philosophies or life and stores of story, these diverse small craft reveal immense possibilities for ways of being beyond the growth-based economics and urban values of our present. This talk uses four distinctive rowed and paddled boats, and the localised island cultures they made possible, to explore the range of options for rejecting the values of growth-based economics that coastal pasts provide us with. It asks, too, how the practice of building boats and of travelling, today, the inter-island searoads used by past communities, can be sources of knowledge to rival books and archives.


David Gange

David is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham.

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