19.05.2022 – Borderlands, Havens, ‘World-Wide Dope, Inc.’: The 1950s as a global moment for the perception of smuggling – Andreas Guidi

Borderlands, Havens, ‘World-Wide Dope, Inc.’: The 1950s as a global moment for the perception of smuggling

Mit einem Kommentar von Nazan Maksudyan (CMB / Freie Universität)

In the 1950s, the character of the global drug trafficker emerged in the media of different countries. The Cold War, decolonization, and new structures of international surveillance emphasized the idea of wide connections through which narcotics flew toward wealthy Western countries. This paper aims to render a more complex and nuance picture by insisting on the coexistence of different modes and scales to narrate how smuggling circuits operate. It will focus on three examples: Turkish writer Yaşar Kemal’s reportage Twenty-five Days among Smugglers on the Turkish-Syrian border (1951); Finnish-Russian journalist Aleko Lilius’s book Turbulent Tangier (1956); a headline story in the popular US American magazine True Crime entitled “World-Wide Dope, Inc”. By stressing the positionality of each standpoint and setting, the paper will try to nuance the idea of a linear globalization of trafficking. It will stress a common accentuated interest in trafficking emerging in the early Cold War while, at the same time, suggesting distinctions in how smuggling serves the description of borderlands, port-cities, and global routes.
Andreas Guidi is a historian of the modern Mediterranean. After obtaining his Ph.D. from the Humboldt University in Berlin and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, he has worked as a research and teaching assistant at the EHESS and at the University of Konstanz. His forthcoming book “Generations of Empire: Youth from Ottoman to Italian Rule in the Mediterranean” will be published in 2022 by University of Toronto Press. Andreas is also the founder and editor of “The Southeast Passage” podcast. He has just returned from a Visiting Fellowship at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC, where he worked on his second book project, about the history of smuggling and the construction of illegality in the twentieth-century Mediterranean.

Andreas Guidi (University of Konstanz)

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