"Experiences of Oil" suggests that there are shared life experiences across oil nations. While oil and its derivatives create conditions that affect most of the planet's beings, this anthology treats contemporary art practices as the starting point for looking more closely at human experiences of living in so-called 'petrostates'. Individual citizens and inhabitants of oil exporting countries are prone to a state of internal conflict, key components of which are the untangling of privileges and suffering and the effort to understand individual and collective responsibilities and agencies. Oil nations are inhabited by a large number of people who do not work directly in the oil industry. What conditions does the oil economy provide for shaping their lives and the lives of their families and friends? What are the stories they tell? Historical reflection is necessary when proposing that there are shared life experiences between oil nations. The largest oil exporting nations have discovered or nationalised their underground resources at different historical moments. Therefore, the relations between oil nations should be investigated both in parallel and displaced in time. Rather than being a study of divisions and borders, this anthology suggests a new neighbourhood of lived experiences. The artistic research project Experiences of Oil has been made accessible to the wider public in three formats - a conference, an exhibition and an anthology - through collaboration between Stavanger Art Museum and the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at the University of Bergen. The anthology is edited by Anne Szefer Karlsen (Professor Curatorial Practice, University of Bergen) and Helga Nyman (Art historian and curator, Stavanger Art Museum).
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