The Impact Of An Oil Economy On Rural Communities

Roughneck

 

Photographer Valerie Zink is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From her project Oxen to Oil  To see Valerie’s projects click on any image.

 

Coffee Row

 

Hunger Strike

 

Teresa and Julian

 

After the Sundance

 

As wood-crib grain elevators are torn down, pumpjacks are taking their place as the new fixture of the prairie landscape. Amid the ravages of rural decline, promises of prosperity during the recent oil boom breathed renewed life into old constructs of the Last Best West, spurring a wave of migration and minting millionaires in towns with skyrocketing rents and over stressed infrastructure.

 

Cultivating

 

Keep Out!

 

44th Street

 

From the sea-can motel on the outskirts of Estevan to the seismic testing sites on Thunderchild First Nation’s Sundance grounds, this series of images captured during the height of the boom considers the ways in which the oil economy is remaking the spatial and cultural landscape of Saskatchewan. More than a lament for a pastoral plains, these images testify to a  moment of transition and urges viewers to consider the complexities and consequences of rural communities’ engagement with the oil economy.

 

Pumpjacks

 

Drilling Rig

 

These images are excerpted from Fault Lines: Life and Landscape in Saskatchewan’s Oil Economy by the University of Manitoba Press

 

 

Photography By Valerie Zink

 

 

 

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