Ballerinas in containers, Women are heroes container ship project sets sail

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Earlier this month French street artist and human rights champion JR launched one of his most unique projects yet when a giant shipping container ship set sail from le Havre, France to Malaysia. Adorned with the giant eyes of a Kenyan woman living in the Kibera Slums along with an image of a ballet dancer from his recent Les BosquetsNYC ballet production, the giant moving artwork served as the culmination of his Women Are Heroesart project that began in 2007.

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“In 2007, I started Women Are Heroes to pay tribute to those who play an essential role in society, but who are the primary victims of war, crime, rape or political and religious fanaticism,” explains the artist. “I pasted portraits and eyes of women on a train in Kenya, a Favela in Brazil, and a demolished house in Cambodia. They gave their trust and asked for a single promise to make their story travel with me. I did it, on the bridges of Paris and the walls of Phnom penh, the building of New York, etc. I wanted to finish Women Are Heroes with a ship leaving a port, with a huge image which would look microscopic after a few minutes, with the idea of these women who stay in their villages and face difficulties in the regions torn by wars and poverty facing the infinity of the ocean. I have no idea of what is in the containers on the boat: stuff from people leaving a country to build a different life in another region, goods that will be transformed, worn, or eaten in a different country. I have no idea where and how people will see this artwork, but I am sure that some women far away will feel something today.”

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Keep your eyes peeled this month as the ship travels across the Mediterranean sea, past the Suez Canal to its final destination in Malaysia…

Click here to find out more

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Researching the River Thames: Environmental History Guide

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Dr Vanessa Taylor and Prof. Sarah Palmer of the Greenwich Maritime Institute where recently part of the project  ‘Running the River Thames: London, Stakeholders and the Environmental Governance of the River Thames, 1960-2010’ which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The project ran from August 2011 to July 2013.

The objectives of the project were:

  • To trace changing forms of public participation and political legitimacy in the environmental governance of the River Thames since 1960
  • To assess the impacts of the shift to river-basin management on the political and economic dominance of London, on opportunities for participation along the river, and on the status of urban governance
  • To examine the political role of communities in the lower Thames region in the light of the concentration of the port downstream and rising environmental concerns up to 1992
  • To provide an historically informed assessment of the implications for environmental citizenship of the current emphasis on stakeholder consultation and of the rising importance of technical expertise as a basis for legitimacy
  • To clarify the changing governance structure of the river and indicate key archive resources for the river’s environment, governance bodies and interest groups since 1960

From the project, one of the outcomes of the Thames project was to provide a public resource for anyone interested in finding out more about the environment of the river and its history. Some sections of this website reflect the project’s focus on the past fifty years, but several sections also consider the period since the mid nineteenth century.

Features of the research guide

  • Timeline for the environmental governance of the River Thames since the 1850s
  • Maps (current and historical) for the River, River Basin and Port of London
  • Overview of River Functions
  • Who runs the Thames? Snapshots of Governance for 1960, 1965, 1974, 1990, 2013
  • Statutory organisations for the Thames river and Thames region
  • Voluntary and stakeholder organisations for the Thames river and Thames region
  • Historical Sources for the river, including a guide to archives in the Thames region
  • Bibliography (documents and academic sources for the Thames)
  • Thames on Film: links to films on the river, available online and in archives
  • Information on the Running the River Thames Project

View more information on Running the River Thames project.


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Happy Fish Friday – for the Fisherman’s Mission


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Join us now for Fish Friday 2014!


In partnership with Tesco Stores the Fisherman’s Mission are aiming to beat last year’s record of 400 fish and chip shops signing on.  Join us and sign up to support Fish Friday now!

Fish Friday is the Fishermen’s Mission’s biggest national fundraising day. Fish and chip shops, fishmongers and groups across the country – they are asking you to show your appreciation for the nation’s unsung heroes, our fishermen and their families.

The Fishermen’s Mission is to help  fight poverty and despair in our fishing communities by providing emergency and welfare support to fishermen and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Over 13,000 men and women work in the UK’s toughest and most dangerous peacetime occupation: deep sea fishing. At sea, they face death and injury on a daily basis.

On land, many face insecurity and debt. And life for the 50,000 retired fishermen and their dependants is no better, with debt, inadequate pensions and scant savings meaning no respite from hardship once the fishing’s over.

The Fishermen’s Mission invite you to have fun, raise some money and help us provide our fishermen with the emergency and welfare support they need.

Fish Friday 2013 was a huge success and raised more than £46,000. Now we need you to sign up and help in 2014.

So help to make this  years even better for this worth cause, to donate click on the fish below

donate fishermans friday


Psychic’ turtle predicts Mexico win over Brazil in World Cup

The football World Cup is now underway with many favorite teams crashing out of the tournament.  So how do you find a way to predict winners….. easy you goto a Sea Turtle Brazil for help.

Cabeção the turtle worries locals in the Brazilian beach village of Praia do Forte after predicting a Mexican victory over Brazil on Tuesday. Cabeção, who predicted Brazil’s win over Serbia in their final friendly before the World Cup, and their victory over Croatia in the opening game, chooses a fish beneath the Mexican flag – rather than beneath the Brazilian flag or a ball that indicates a draw.

Cabeção is part of the Tamar project, which helps endangered sea turtles


Maritime student Robert Forrester writes A History of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company and Royal Mail Lines, 1851-1965





Robert’s background

Robert Forrester spent twenty years at sea as a deck officer, the last ten of them with Royal Mail Line making frequent voyages to South America prior to leaving the sea in 1965.

The next twenty-odd years were spent involved with newspaper and magazine publishing, latterly as MD of the company producing magazines for British Airways, and others.

Following his retirement he studied for an MA (2001) in Maritime Studies at the Greenwich Maritime Institute followed by a PhD in 2006 and now he sees his book available to buy a many good book stores.





What the book is about

During the nineteenth century Britain’s maritime, commercial and colonial interests all depended upon a regular and reliable flow of information from around the globe. Whilst the telegraph increasingly came to dominate long-distance communication, postal services continued to play a vital role in this network of information exchange, particularly to the more distant locations. Consequently, much importance was placed upon international mail services by the British government and the Admiralty, who provided large subsidies to commercial companies to run these concerns.

Concentrating on the mail service between Britain and South America, this book explores the economic, maritime and political aspects of the Royal Mail Lines company, who held Admiralty and Post Office mail contracts between 1851 and 1965.As well as providing a business history of the Royal Mail Lines, the book reveals the many and varied consequences of maintaining a long-distance mail service.

Improved ship design, the establishment of a network of coaling stations, the availability of inexpensive transatlantic passenger crossings for immigrants, increased cargo capacity allowing increased imports of coffee and frozen beef to Europe, the linking of South America to international markets and commercial opportunities, were just some of the spin-off benefits of Britain’s subsidised mail services.

The book also addresses the international competition faced by Royal Mail Lines, which reflected Britain’s diminishing dominance of global trade and shipping. In all this book has much to say that will interest not only business historians, but all those seeking a better understating of Britain’s maritime and economic history, and changing patterns of global information exchange.


For more information or to purchase a copy click here 

6th June 1944 remembered by Dr Chris Ware



With all of the statistics quoted, 6th June 1944 was a personal journey for each soldier, sailor and airman involved.  The 50th Division (Northumbrian) was tasked with assaulting Gold Beach. The center of the sector was named jig, itself split into two between jig Green and jig Red sectors.

At 07:26 as the tide was at the flood the first wave came ashore, with the infantry and Royal Marine Commandoes there were three Field Companies of Royal Engineers and amongst them a 21 old Sapper who had been called up in 1942, he had been stationed at Catterick and then Woodbridge. As his landing craft neared the shore he stepped off the ramp and disappeared into the swell up to his neck. Carrying his rifle above his head he waded ashore to be greeted by the German static defences. Once ashore he, and his comrades had to wait whilst Naval gunfire cleared the way, including part of Gold Beach HMS Warspite going into rapid fire with her 15 inch guns over open sights.

He would take part in assault on Caen and the Falaise gap, and be present at Nijmegen and the withdrawal from Arnhem. In all the years that I knew him my father spoke perhaps twice about these experiences, it was matter of fact; he got cold and wet, he never spoke of fear and of whether he might not have survived, death was only mentioned once, having witnessed the onslaught at Falaise, and this shortly before he died.

Having studied history for the last thirty some years as an historian I still find it hard to comprehend what he did and how over time he simply put it behind him, a distant memory, almost as if it were another person, of such is history made.





The Third Conference of the Black Sea Project to be held in Istanbul

The Third Conference of the Black Sea Project, The Economic and Social Development of the Port–Cities of the Southern Black Sea Coast, Late 18th – Beginning of the 20th century will take place in Istanbul.

The conference is hosted by the History Department of Boğaziçi University.

23-26 October 2014

The project “The Black Sea and its port-cities from the 18th to the 20th century. Development, convergence and linkages with the global economy” is part of the Thalis Programme “Reinforcement of the Interdisciplinary and/or inter-institutional Research and Innovation” in the context of the operational action “Education and Life Long Learning” which is co-sponsored by the E.U. and the Greek Ministry of Education.

This will be the third conference in a series of five focusing on this specific project.  Previous schedules have featured the Greenwich Maritime Insititue’s Panayotis Kapetanakis, foacusing on; The Black Sea: a new diplomatic and economic challenge to the First British Empire (1760–1802)


black sea

The aim of the conference is to convey the results of the research carried out within the project as well as invite papers related to its themes. The project seeks to trace elaborate and demonstrate the economic and social development of 25 port-cities of the Black Sea that formed an integrated market that became the larger grain-exporting area in the world in the course of the  longnineteenth century.

By focusing on the sea and its ports, the analysis offers an insight in the economic activities of the port-cities, the coastal area and the hinterland, the integration of markets and their inter-linkages with the global economy, beyond political boundaries and divisions. The global economy triggered development and convergence of regional markets. Papers are related to the subject of the project along the following six axes:

1. The Black Sea as a unit of research. Marine environment and six port systems.
2.Six maritime regions. Economic and social development of twenty port-cities.
3.Patterns of urban structure. City-planning and architecture.
4.Macro-analysis. Formation of macro-economic statistical series. Comparison to world economy.
5.Micro-analysis. Entrepreneurial elites and major Greek business families.
6.Networks linking to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.


For more information on the project please visit;




A Student Perspective: Maritime Press in Greece

Nowadays, it goes without saying that the media influences not only the policy of the maritime industry but the whole world’s in general. This is the reason why the role of news is so important. In Greece maritime industry is one of the most important industries and although the country’s economy is in crisis, the specific industry shows an upward trend. Thus, maritime news is essential for the maritime industry in Greece.

Greece is the top ship owning country in the world, consequently, business owners as well their employees want to be informed constantly. Whoever is interested gets updated by newspapers, magazines and the internet. “Naftemporiki” is the most well known newspaper in Greece that has news of general interest but specializes in news concerning the maritime industry. Also, in Greece a lot of magazines are being released regarding the maritime industry and the most recognized is “Efoplistis”. The precise magazine is dealing with maritime news all over the world and often has articles about success stories of Greek ship owners. This is very useful for young people who are new in business because they can follow the example of these stories and maybe have a success story of their own.

Nowadays, most people want to learn their news from the internet because it has easy access but, more important, the news is released 24/7. Thus, people can stay up to date more easily. Moreover, magazines and newspapers have realized this situation and they upload their news on their sites like “Nafetmporiki” in and “Efoplistis” in . In this way they try to approach the new generation; these days, people are getting more and more familiar with the internet and they use it more than newspapers and magazines. The online daily newspapers are getting more frequent and they are used more than the others. The benefit of this is that people who live abroad or travel abroad can see the news in a easier way. It is commonly known that news concerning maritime news of world is fascinating for the whole world since Greece is one of the most important shipping countries in the world. Some of the most well-known online news papers are “Hellenic Shipping News” , and “Greek Shipping News”

Moreover, Greece is a very lucky country since it has so many positive models in the field of the maritime industry. Consequently, young people entering this industry will have many examples and media can forward them. Since the media is expressing the public opinion, they also influence the policy of the maritime industry not only in Greece but also globally. Taking everything into consideration, I believe that since maritime press is so important people working in the maritime industry should be more active and if they see some mistakes in the articles they should contact the editors to make the proper corrections. Maritime news of Greece is fascinating for the whole world since Greece is one of the most important maritime countries in the world.

Michaela Sympoura, MA International Maritime Policy Student

Greenwich Maritime Institute Open Day

We are pleased to announce that staff of the Greenwich Maritime Institute (GMI) will be available at the Univeristy of Greenwich Open Day on Saturday 23rd February 2013 to discuss the following:

• The Importance of the Sea
• GMI Taught Masters Programmes: Maritime History; International Maritime Policy; Maritime Security; Short Courses
• GMI Research: Staff research projects and Mphil/PhD research
• Networking and Employability

If you are passionate about the sea and interested in finding out more about the GMI, we would love for you to come along to Greenwich and have a chat with us at our stand. All you have to do is register and we will see you on the day!.

We will also be available for online chat from 10am – 3pm GMT on Saturday 23rd February 2013 via the instant message facility on our facebook page:

If you are unable to attend one of the planned open days then we would also be very happy to make an individual appointment to come and meet with staff and students at other times.


Women as visible and invisible workers in fisheries: A case study of Northern England

Worldwide, women play a wide range of roles within fisheries, making significant contributions to the industry across sectors from a variety of positions, however their role and contribution is often under-recognised or ‘invisible’. They contribute as fishers’ wives, traders, operators in processing factories, managers and administrators in fishing or fishing-related companies. Women are clearly an important part of the workforce, whether paid or unpaid and making a significant contribution to the industry, their families and their communities. 

The existing information about women in today’s English fishing industry was found to be inadequate, fragmented and scattered and official statistics show that women’s participation in fisheries is low with the exception of the processing sector. This means that the ‘invisible’ women in fisheries are denied access to institutional and state support as well as many other things. The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in the UK and the European Commission (EU) commissioned a group of researchers to investigate exactly what the contribution of women is, in an attempt to contribute to knowledge in this area whilst also aiming to inform policy makers.

A paper recently published in Marine Policy and written/researched by staff from the Greenwich Maritime Institute and Iris Consulting, also looks into various other elements such as women in families, enterprises & communities; sexual harassment and cultural taboos; women as a labour source in fisheries; women in processing factories, trading and management.

To view the full paper: Zhao M, et al. Women as visible and invisible workers in fisheries: A case study of Northern England. Marine Policy (2012),

This research is now being built upon as part of a three-year EU-funded Project, Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability (GIFS). To view the progress of the GIFS project please see the following website: