Putting a Human Face on Hydraulic Fracturing

It is rare when new web content makes one want to sit back in an easy chair, study every image, and follow every word. Let me tell you about one offering that not only delivers that kind of quality, but focuses on one of the critical environmental and social issues currently facing the country.

The Nevada Museum of Art maintains a Center for Art + Environment Blog. Its latest entry begins a new series called “Fractured: North Dakota’s Oil Boom”. The first submission is here.

The museum’s website tells us that photographer Terry Evans and writer Elizabeth Farnsworth have been traveling to North Dakota over a period of almost two years to explore the Bakken oil fields, where an industrial boom made possible by fracking has caused a vast upheaval of native prairie and people’s lives. Their blog, which will run weekly for the next several months, highlights some of what they’ve found.  An exhibition opening in June at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and an exhibition at the Nevada Art Museum in fall 2014 will expand – in different ways – on their blog posts. “The North Dakota oil boom is a complex and dynamic phenomenon taking place in a landscape rich in history and lore, and Evans and Farnsworth focus on landscape, above all.”

Terry Evans is a Chicago photographer “whose work has focused on the interweaving of people and prairies and other landscapes for the past thirty-five years.” Elizabeth Farnsworth, who was for many years a foreign correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, is a free-lance San Francisco Bay Area reporter and filmmaker.  Berkeley Law alum Alice Bodnar is part of the team as well, editing copy and fact-checking the blogs.

Take a look at their work, if you like. I’m looking forward to following the story as it develops.

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