Doug Fishbone

In 2012, the cruise ship Costa Concordia was driven onto the rocks off the coast of Tuscany by its captain, who was cavorting on the bridge with a beautiful young woman at the time of impact. As the disaster unfolded, he promptly abandoned ship, leaving his passengers to fend for themselves. Like few other symbols, the modern cruise ship embodies the messy contradictions at work in capitalism’s production and delivery of the leisure experience – rigid class divisions, out-of-touch leadership that falls apart in a crisis, off-shore set-ups designed to dodge the tax man, indifference to its workers and to its impact on the environment. The whole arrangement is funded by money freely paid, from people needing a holiday and unaware what such voyages actually drag in their wake, or perhaps they are just unconcerned.