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6 July 2018

The Project

The Oil Sands of Northern Alberta represent one of the biggest social, environmental, and political dilemmas of our time. Photographer, Alan Gignoux, and his team have been investigating the complex issues surrounding the Oil Sands since 2010. Alan’s photographs record the ruthless exploitation of resources, as well as the area’s explosive economic growth.

The project is now culminating in a web documentary and photobook zine, bringing together a collection of powerful photographs and interviews to address the question:

Are the Alberta Oil Sands a blessing or a curse?

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The Photobook Zine

The Oil Sands photobook is a limited-edition publication, documenting the very best of Alan’s photographs and interviews from his time in Alberta. The photobook draws both on the grassroots tradition of the low cost zine and the artisanal tradition of Japanese photobooks.

The large format print is designed to speak to the sheer scale of the Oil Sands, and the colossal landscapes that are being destroyed each day. Alan’s aerial photographs show near microscopic levels of detail, brought to life by large format, full bleed images.

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The project also has a human side – an element often hidden behind the story of industry. Fittingly, the zine’s physical design hides these human stories within the landscapes of the book. Small cards are found in subtle pockets, which are in turn camouflaged within industrial landscape photographs.

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The book itself is also intended to give a feel of the subject. The outer cover is printed on textured card to represent the tactile nature of the land, while the lettering is printed in a dark, glossy ink that evokes the unique slick of heavy crude oil.

The collectible books will initially be printed in an edition of 200, and will be entirely handmade. The final books are recyclable and all the papers used are FSC Certified.

The Oil Sands project and photobook has been conceived and produced with Chloe Juno, Stanley James Press, Brittany Kelly, Chris Kemble, Jenny Christensson and Duncan Bradley.

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