Shipping containers: the mundane and macabre

If there’s a net-loss in the global supply of shipping containers, I believe the answer may lie in Afghanistan. This is where they come to die.

Painted green and converted into police checkpoints, or lining the roads through bazaars, used as shops, or as houses in Kabul (boiling their occupants whoever in summer), they are two-a-penny. Not dead then, but reincarnated.

Nothing unusual or of note there. But occasionally one will see one reincarnated as a colander, riddled with bullet holes. Driving near Mazar-i-Sharif recently, I noticed one such as this, a solitary landmark in the otherwise featureless sun dried plain of northern Afghanistan. It somehow put me in mind of the ancient barrows of Britain, the neolithic burial mounds.

A more accurate reflection was on the slaughter that surrounded the Taliban attacks and eventual take-over of Mazar in 1997, previously a stronghold of Dostum.

Combatants and civilians who were captured – by both sides at different times – were often herded inside containers, and sealed within. Left without food or water in a tight press of humanity, they would have been cooked in unimaginable agony.

Almost preferable then, or a relief when it finally happened, to have the containers shot to pieces, bullets punching in air and out lives.

The mundane turned into the macabre.

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One Response to “Shipping containers: the mundane and macabre”

  1. lauppyglargo Says:

    Thanks !

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