Assemblages of Justice: The ‘Ghost Ships’ of Graythorp


I investigate the issue of dismantling the so‐called ‘ghost’ ships in Graythorp, Hartlepool, as an episode of relational forging of space and contestation between constructs of social and environmental justice. I offer a Deleuzoguattarian‐inspired cartography, tracing constructions of justice, injustice and nature with regard to both Hartlepool and the wider issue of ship dismantling. I explore tensions and commonalities between expressed concerns, as actants discursively seek to reconfigure relational space in the name of social and/or environmental justice. Amongst the generative flux of complex, dynamic forces and relations which become folded together, the complexity of spatial planning decision making emerges as an oscillation between relations of presence and absence, which planners attempt to mediate in constructing some singular form of ‘just’ decision. Yet this is but one choice among many: of social justice? Of environmental justice? To which actants? Across which spaces?