Accepted Paper:

Polar Environmental Discourses: Film, Politics, and Oil in the Anthropocene  

Author:

Lisa Bloom (UCLA)

Paper short abstract:

How do filmmakers resist familiar forms of representation and come up with new ways of representing climate change in the Arctic that takes into account increased development by the oil industry, local knowledge, and the survival of communities?

Paper long abstract:

How do filmmakers resist familiar forms of representation and come up with new ways of representing climate change in the Arctic that takes into account the increased development by the oil industry, local knowledge and how it is transforming the lives and survival of communities?

Taken from a book project titled Contemporary Art and Climate Change of the Polar Regions, the presentation brings together issues in critical climate change scholarship to examine aspects of feminist and environmentalist polar art in the work of Brenda Longfellow. Focusing on oil drilling in the Alaskan Arctic, the paper invites us to think how conventional narratives about oil production and consumption, science, gender, and race, as well as attitudes towards nature, technology, and the wilderness are being reimagined through interactive documentaries in the early 21st century. This work builds on research from my early feminist science studies book, Gender on Ice (1993), and more recent writings. Springboarding from these earlier works, the more recent work rethinks earlier narratives from the 19th and early 20th century as the polar regions have shifted from the last space of heroic exploration to the first place of global decline. In the earlier era, the polar regions had been overrun by heroic bodies and narratives. Now, it has been overrun by the petroleum industry who regards the record ice loss and melting glaciers of the Arctic as an opportunity to exploit the enormous deposits of oil and gas understood to lie below the ice.

Panel T019
Science and Technology through Critical Art Practice