P008ResearchPerformance as Delegation

Photo: (c) Robin Hinsch

With an annual turnover of 7734 million Euros in 2016, Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world’s biggest container carriers. Its business activity, first and foremost, is logistics. This large-scale transportation company is based in Hamburg. In 2012, the city of Hamburg itself held nearly 37 percent of the company in shares. This, in fact, makes Hamburg citizens one of the company’s major owners. 

Relating the companies name back to Edward Lloyd, who, in 1688, opened a coffeehouse in London, I propose to think of the entanglement of a practice of modern citizenship with choreographic and logistic modes of abducting bodies and resources. In fact, in elucidating what I term ‘Lloyd’s assemblage’, I want to shed light on the concurrent emergence of places and practices such as the coffeehouse, the liberal public sphere, but also logistical modes of violently abducting and transporting people in the transatlantic slave-trade, which in turn is linked to new forms of financial speculation. To get a hold on these entanglements, within my article, I think about the notion of delegated performance and its specific meaning within a modern practice of citizenship. 

Article published in Performing Citizenship: Bodies, Agencies, Limitations at Palgrave McMillan in 2019 / edited by Paula Hildebrandt, Kerstin Evert, Sibylle Peters, Mirjam Schaub, Katrin Wildner and Gesa Ziemer / downloadable here