Paperback / softback
January 31, 2017
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.60 Inches (US)
.82 Pounds (US)
$38.99 USD, £24.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Tar Wars

Oil, Environment and Alberta's Image

Tar Wars offers a critical inside look at how leading image-makers negotiate escalating tensions between continuous economic growth mandated by a globalized economic system and its unsustainable environmental costs. As place branding assumes paramount importance in an increasingly global, visual, and ecologically conscious society, an international battle unfolds over Alberta's bituminous sands. This battle pits independent documentary filmmakers against professional communicators employed by government and the oil industry. Tar Wars engages scholars and students in communications, film, environmental studies, social psychology, PR, media and cultural studies, and petrocultures. This book also speaks to decision makers, activists, and citizens exploring intersections of energy, environment, culture, politics, economy, media and power.

About the Author

Geo Takach, PhD is a writer, filmmaker, workshop leader, and speaker. He is Associate Professor of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC.


"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

"In his extensively researched and politically provocative new book, Tar Wars, award-winning author Geo Takach...offers attentive citizens, policy wonks and communications pros a solid 'case study in environmental communication.'"—Rob Norris, Alberta Views

"... [Takach's] purpose: to depolarize and ultimately enable debate of the bit-sands and their role in defining Alberta... Tar Wars highlights two points that are seldom part of the discussion. The first is that while the antagonistic 'Alberta is energy' approach originated with industry and political leaders, the polarizing rhetoric does not represent the views of all or even the majority of Alberta residents. The second is that polarized debate limits meaningful dialogue and political engagement... Underlying is Takach's message that we must refuse to fall into easy stereotypes of any region, including the one we live in." [Full review at]—Nichole Dusyk, BC BookLook

"This book is relevant to scholars in communication studies, specifically those with a focus on environmental communication and activism, as well as those in strategic communication, specifically PR, marketing, and branding, and obviously those in the fields of journalism and film." [Full review at]—Gordon Alley-Young, Canadian Journal of Communication Vol 44

9781772121407 : tar-wars-takach
Paperback / softback
256 Pages
$38.99 USD

Other Titles by Geo Takach

Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up?

Geo Takach
Dec 2010 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$38.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in ART / Film & Video


Cristina Pausini
Oct 2019 - Georgetown University Press
$49.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text

Writing Beyond the End Times? / Écrire au-delà de la fin des temps ?

edited by Ursula Mathis-Moser, Marie Carrière, with contributions by David Boucher, Nicole Côté, Piet Defraeye, Nicoletta Dolce, Danielle Dumontet, Ana María Fraile-Marcos, Marion Kühn, Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink, Carmen Mata Barreiro, Dunja...
Sep 2019 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$45.00 USD - Paperback / softback


James Neil
Oct 2018 - LM Publishers
$50.00 USD - Hardback