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The Colonial Making of Bremen’s Peri-Urban Port Area
ABSTRACT The colonial endeavor, being a project of extraction and expansion at its core, depended on stable infrastructures and affected both colony and metropole. Bremen’s docklands, now marketed as the Überseestadt, come up as one such structure and indicator of the effects of colonialism in European metropoles. This article contrasts the event-centered narrative of the construction of the port with praxeological and postcolonial approaches to the making of colonialism. To lay open how ports can be described as colonial, we conceptualize Bremen’s docklands through two distinct sets of practices in its global-historical context: 1) practices of representation of interests and politics of port construction; and 2) practices of technoscientific port construction. Researching the colonial and global-historical foundations of port cities and their infrastructures allow us to better understand colonialism as global praxis. They offer a trajectory through which to think about contemporary postcolonial power asymmetries and inequalities.
KEYWORDS colonial port construction, imperial infrastructures, postcolonial Science and Technology Studies, waterfront revitalization