The Waters of Albion

A literary research project

I’m researching alternative maritime histories of this archipelago. We are reliably spoon fed a flattening story of britannia ruling the waves, of airless glory and triumph founded on a baroque global architecture of cruelty. Stories of pirates and fishermen and so on are resurrected without history, without society, and without ecology, without blood. The songs we sing are about sugar and tea and rum. 

Writer and academic Dr Kojo Koram who holds that 99% of ‘british’ history happens elsewhere. In this context the old round of ‘what shall we do with the drunken sailor’ is a call for a reckoning with how old treacheries find new form, new purpose and new glamour in the stories we tell now. This prroject attempts to tell entangled stories of smugglers and ghosts and selkies and dockers and sex workers and prisoners and cops and captive people, about bureaucrats dividing up the sea bed and pricing up human life,, about complicity and profit, about the so called ‘discovered’ lands and towns swallowed up by the tide. I want to know a bit more about how history comes home, and where the hell that is in the first place. 


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as in wind, wolf, baby

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