After Oil 2: Solarity

Canadian Centre for Architecture / Centre Canadien d’Architecture (CCA), Montreal, Quebec / May 23-25, 2019

A joint project of the Petrocultures Research Group and the Grierson Chair in Communication Studies, McGill University.

What social conditions would be required to initiate and sustain an energy transition animated by solarity – by both the energies of the sun (solar) and the collective energies of bodies working together (solidarity)?

What can the history of diverse cultures of solarity teach us about this possibility? What infrastructures, architectures, institutions, practices, and relationships would be implicated in solarity? And what will solarity look, feel, and sound like?

These questions guided the curriculum and collaborative work of the second After Oil, which included public events, a multi-media archive, and on-site collaborative work aimed at making a concrete contribution to public consideration of the challenge and potential of true energy transition. Over seventy scholars, students, artists, activists, and practitioners engaged in three days of intensive reflection and collaboration on the challenges and possibilities of a social transition to energy systems and communities organized around the energy of the sun. Workshops, presentations and discussions were held on themes including feminist solarities, Indigenous solarities, community renewable energy, revolutionary solarities, Solarpunk, and speculative solarities. 

The collective work carried out at AOS2 resulted in two publications:

The After Oil Collective, After Oil: Solarity (University of Minnesota Press, 2022)


Darin Barney and Imre Szeman, ed., Solarity. Special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly 120.1 (2021) 

Read Solarity

Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice

A collective engages and mirrors the critical need for energy justice and transformation.
Solarities considers the possibilities of organizing societies and economies around solar energy, and the challenges of a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels. Far from presenting solarity as a utopian solution to the climate crisis, it critically examines the ambiguous potentials of solarities: plural, situated, and often contradictory.

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After Oil 3: Next

After Oil School 3: Next is a two-year project designed to better understand the specific social transitions needed to shape energy transitions.

After Oil 3