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Tar Wars

Oil, Environment and Alberta’s Image

Geo Takach

Art, Canadian Studies, Business History

Published: February 2017
ISBN: 9781772121407
Pages: 296 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 9

Tar Wars offers a critical, inside look at how leading image-makers negotiate the escalating tensions between the need for continuous economic growth mandated by a globalized economic system and its unsustainable environmental costs. As representations of a place and its identity assume paramount importance in a globalized, visual, and increasingly ecologically conscious society, a rising, international battle unfolds over Alberta’s bituminous sands, pitting independent documentary filmmakers against professional communicators employed by the oil industry and government. Tar Wars will engage scholars and students in communications, film, environmental studies, social psychology, and petrocultures. It also reaches out to decision-makers, activists, and those who wish to explore the intersections of energy, environment, culture, politics, economy, media, and power in the world today.

Geo Takach is a writer, speaker, instructor, filmmaker, and scholar. Based in Alberta, he explores the soul of the province. His award-winning book, Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up?, was published by the University of Alberta Press.

Alberta for generations was famous for mountains, rodeos, Mormonism, football, Ukrainian culture, meatpacking and Social Credit. Say 'Alberta' today and any focus group replies, 'oil'. That’s no accident, writes Prof. Geo Takach of Royal Roads University. From the 1947 oil strike at Leduc Number One, 'resource extraction became heroic'. Alberta’s very identity was intertwined with oil sands production, for better and worse. Tar Wars documents this modern cultural phenomenon... [and] ... covers all angles. … The search is compelling and clever.

– Holly Doan, Blacklock's Reporter