State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic | Edward Burtynsky


Edward Burtynsky is known as one of Canada’s most respected photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are in the collections of several major museums around the world. Born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage at St. Catharines, Ontario. Burtynsky’s imagery explores the intricate connection between industry and nature; combining the raw elements of mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, oil production and recycling into eloquent, highly expressive visions that find beauty and humanity in the most unlikely of places. This time we’re going to be focused on his work about SOCAR, the Oil company of Azerbaijan.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic [SOCAR] is the state-owned oil and natural gas corporation in Azerbaijan. It produces oil and natural gas, operates two oil refineries and the running of oil and gas pipelines through out the country. After going through several reorganizations and re-namings during the Soviet period, the national oil companies merge in just one new company in 1992: SOCAR.

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SOCAR even has a Geophysics and geology department involved in exploration of oil and gas fields, well logging and engineering geological research works on the whole territory of the republic. At their web-site they mention to have an Ecology Department that is supossed to carry out ecology works, as read:

“…services and integrated controls, promotion of ecological safety in production, storage, transport and processing of carbohydrogen, oil-contaminated soil remediation and production recycling, industrial waste utilization, monitoring of environmental impact of enterprises’ activity, elimination of effects of anthropogenic, technogenic and natural disasters in compliance with the international environmental standards and operative rules in the SOCAR.”

But taking a look at this apocalyptic images the last word to think about is Ecology. Lebbeus Woods quotes in his last text: Foremost, the widely accepted feeling is that we have reached “the end of history” as Fukuyama talks about this era. The question is: Have we reached it?

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