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Shock and Ore: Tarnished Earth Street Gallery in Birmingham


Tarnished Earth, a dramatic street gallery of photographs telling the story of one of the world’s biggest ecological disasters, is set to remain in Centenary Way, Birmingham, until 13 February before continuing on its tour of the UK.

The free outdoor exhibition by Jiri Rezac is being staged by The Co-operative in conjunction with WWF-UK and Greenpeace to show how Canada’s magnificent Boreal Forest is being destroyed and polluted by the rush to extract oil from the tar sands just below the surface to supply the oil market.

More than one million people are estimated to have seen the striking images - which contrast the destruction caused by oil extraction with the area’s pristine wilderness and the traditional way of life of the indigenous First Nation Cree - since its unveiling in London’s Southbank in September.

Paul Monaghan, Head of Social Goals and Sustainability at The Co-operative, said: “It is really important that people see for themselves the scale of the environmental destruction which is being done in order to extract oil from tar sands.

“The greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands oil are far greater than those of conventional oil, and its exploitation alone would be sufficient to take the world to the brink of runaway climate change.

“Tarnished Earth vividly portrays the impact tar sands operations are having on this beautiful area of boreal forest which has been home to wildlife and the indigenous Cree nations for thousands of years.”

The street gallery includes an innovative photo petition “booth”. The petition, which asks the EU to keep tar sands out of Europe, will be presented to the European Parliament later this year.

For more information and to see images of one of the world’s biggest ecological disasters go to


 Tar Sands
 Tarnished Earth
 The Co-operative

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