Extraction defines Canada, at home and abroad. Of the nearly 20,000 mining projects in the world—from Africa to Asia to Latin America, more than half are Canadian-operated. Not only does the mining economy employ close to 400,000 people across the country, it contributed $52.6 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2012 alone. Globally, more than 75% of prospecting and mining companies on the planet are based in Canada. Seemingly impossible to conceive, the scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada’s historical legacy as state, nation, and now, as global resource empire.
The project is a response to Canada’s contemporary culture and global economy of resource extraction. Canadian transnational corporations currently operate close to 9,000 mining projects worldwide, in nearly every country, continent, and ocean on the planet. As a multimedia initiative, the project explores the current and historic legacy of resource extraction from a Canadian perspective with an installation, film, and book featuring prominent creators and influential thinkers, past and present, on Canada’s global resource empire. Co-edited by Pierre Bélanger and Nina-Marie Lister, the book features an array of authors and scholars from across fields of landscape, urbanism, geography, arts, ecology, media, literature, architecture, engineering, science, industry, business and culture. The project will be launched at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016, then tour across a series of resource regions throughout Canada to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
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