The Leith Project
Industrial Ruins and Maritime Heritage
This essay reflects on the politics of abandoned buildings juxtaposed with memorials to a thriving industrial past whilst walking through Leith. I argue that these abandoned buildings reveal capitalism's inherent obsolescence and counteract its teleological version of time. Drawing on Ingold’s notion of a “taskscape”, I show how multiple temporalities are enfolded into these decaying structures, and how they provide a canvas for contemporary political critique. These ruins provide a counterpoint to the view of Leith that is crystallized in the public artwork, or lieux de memoire (Nora 1989) valorizing its maritime history.