The subject of the film Forgotten Space is the spatial imagination of globalisation, the sea and containerisation. Globalisation as a term could be defined as the process by which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected as a result of massively increased trade and cultural exchange. Its understood that globalisation has increased the production of goods and services (Bbc.co.uk, 2017). The concept of globalisation has more than one aspect contributing to it; money, people, and commodities.
Forgotten space talks about sea trade as a fundamental component of the world-industrial system trade. Two myths are introduced in the film, the first addressing the idea about the sea being nothing more than the remains of mercantilist space: a reserve of cultural and economic anachronisms; theories of an outdated economy. The second is that we live in a post-industrial society, that cybernetic systems and the service economy have radically made the ‘old economy’ of heavy material fabrication and processing insignificant.
It can be thought of the ocean as a link with no physical barrier that connects the world together. The cargo containers, a metal box revolutionised the transportation, loading and uploading, making the transportation more efficient and helping global trade through sea as they are easily transferred from ship to truck to train, saving space and time. “The cargo containers carry goods manufactured by invisible workers on the other side of the globe” (Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2011). The film shifts between four port cities: Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Rotterdam and Bilbao, three of them being the largest in the world which are also known as super ports. Super ports handle millions of tonnes of cargo every year, transporting a wide range of goods around the world (ASCO, 2017). Till this day, over 90% of the worlds trade is transported in cargos through the sea. Without the revolution of cargo sea trade that began in the mid 1950s as a modest American improvement, the global factory would not exist, nor the phenomenon of globalization itself.
As the transportation and distribution links become accessible to all, negative sides to these developed connections emerge, making it less equal to all as factories begin looking for cheaper labour to make the most out of it. For example, a garment factory in Los Angeles or Hong kong closes down, only to open a factor of sewing machines and benches in suburbs of Guangzhou or Dacca Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2011).
Despite the negative aspects of cargo sea trading, globalisation has allowed for stronger business and personal bonds throughout the world as we are all interlinked. In the fast paced media oriented modern day we live in, these strong bonds are efficient, held to a high value and appreciated by the majority. As mentioned earlier, the film The forgotten Space gives an insight about the different globalisation concepts and how things flow and migrate across borders and not just people.
Allan Sekula & Noël Burch. (2011). The Forgotten Space
Bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC – GCSE Bitesize: What is globalisation?. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/globalisation/globalisation_rev1.shtml [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].
ASCO. (2017). Super Ports. [online] Available at: http://www.ascoworld.com/services/offshore-supply-base-management/super-ports [Accessed 2 Dec. 2017].