The World comes to Dover was a workshop about the Dover straits. From the Western Heights you have a beautiful view across to France and can see the marine traffic passing through from the major ports of Northern Europe to the rest of the world. I wanted to engage the audience, visiting the Drop Redoubt that day, in that traffic, and see if it raised any interesting questions about the movement of goods around the world.
My plan was to look at the shipping that was passing and use an iPad to see what that ship was carrying and where it was going (this is done through marinetraffic.com). I asked participants to look out to sea, choose a vessel, then write it on the list. I then tried to engage them in conversation about it, where it was going and what it might be doing.
For instance, there was a huge cruiser in the harbour, the Braemar, headed for Edingburgh, next to it was a smaller more workmanlike vessel, looking incongruous beside the super sleek cruise ship. One of the participants told me that it was the Coral Water, a refuelling vessel; the cruiser was being refuelled. Coral Water refuels all the ships in Dover Harbour, but has to go out into the Dover Straits to be refuelled itself as it’s too dangerous in the Harbour.
The list of destinations and goods were fascinating; heavy cargo going to Sabetta in Russia, Fruit Tanker going to Santos in Brazil, a vehicle carrier on its way to Cotonou in Benin. Other destinations were Amsterdam, Tarragona, Port Said, as well as Dunkirk, Calais and Shoreham!
The day was interesting; a success I felt, in that I had a lot of conversations with different members of the public that contributed to the list you can see above. It made me think that I should make a map constituted of the different locations the workshop enabled me to create a ‘snapshot’ of in the workshop.