Anyone who has been following Marine Café Blog knows that I frequently talk about seafarers’ rights and marine art. These two subjects are the main courses, as it were, on the menu — the recurring themes that have come to define the tone and character of the blog. But why art in conjunction with the rights of mariners?
The answer is simple. As I noted in a 2012 article, “In the 21st century, the biggest challenge faced by shipping is not how to improve maritime safety or reduce piracy attacks. It is how to reclaim its humanity.” I see art as helping achieve that end insofar as all art is ultimately a celebration of the human spirit. At the same time, I believe that no such celebration is possible without upholding the rights of shipping’s prime movers: the seafarers.
In the 21st century, the biggest challenge faced by shipping is. . . how to reclaim its humanity. I see art as helping achieve that end insofar as all art is ultimately a celebration of the human spirit.
There is a stronger if symbolic connection between seafarers’ rights and art. Like all human beings, seafarers have certain inalienable rights which would still exist even if ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, and all other related laws did not. Such rights are sacrosanct and are beautiful by virtue of being so. Violating them is like scratching or spraying graffiti on a beautiful work of art.
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