Sharpest Knives in the Drawer: Culture at the Intersection of Oil and State
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The infusion of the petroleum industry into the social and cultural imaginary goes deep in Alberta, where the oil economy and provincial governments have together shaped discourses of prosperity, identity and citizenship for generations. Cultural production and consumption is deeply implicated in these processes, and art has been instrumental as well as oppositional in the shaping of meanings around environment, natural resources, and extractive industries. This paper considers the potentially paradoxical role of the visual arts in practices of democratic dissent and social change in the context of oil capitalism.