Neo-colonial Continuities in Mediterranean Infrastructures From Atlantropa to Desertec
Herman Sörgel’s gigantic project Atlantropa is a key European project in terms of infrastructure and territory in the first half of the 20th century. It is not only the most spectacular case of a modernity that is necessarily believing in technology – as will be shown in Part I of this essay –, but it is also profitable in that it historically locates Europe’s current energy policy infrastructure projects in Africa, to which Part II is devoted. The vision pursued under the name Destertec envisages the large-scale implementation of renewable energy power plants, especially solar thermal power plants in Northern Africa. As will be shown, a number of argumentation patterns of the early 20th century still serve in an almost unchanged way to justify development programs a century later. The historical perspective with a close look on Atlantropa thus serves as a mean to deconstruct and question common practice in the present.
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