The Space-Time Contraction

Marco Polo took half a lifetime to reach the Orient, another half to return to Venice. My ancestors took half a year to reach the antipodes, and they never saw their homeland again. Today it takes half an hour to cross a country, half a day to cross a continent.

In 2017, the Barcelona El Prat Airport, where these photographs were taken, handled over forty-seven million passengers, requiring over 323,000 flights per year to transport this global citizenry of travellers, suits, and migrants. This space-time contraction has obvious benefits, allowing some of us to enjoy trans-continental careers, studies, and romances unimaginable to even our parents’ generation.

But the space-time contraction has many real indirect consequences: cities saturated with tourism and clogged by cars, some soon to be flooded by a rising sea; aviation workers clinging to insecure employment; suburbs deafened by flight paths, others colonised by sightseers’ accommodation… In these modern times, the space-time contraction is both a blessing and a curse.

Lives and Times…

For more pictures that tell a thousand words, follow Lives and Times on Instagram:

…Writing on the World Around Us

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: