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Oil Man and the Sea

Ilja Herb and Shawn Morris.

Writer Arno Kopecky was in Colombia when he had a Skype conversation with photographer Ilja Herb that set the stage for their upcoming sailing journey to the central coast of British Columbia, along the path of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project.

Kopecky was working on his book, The Devil's Curve, a narrative nonfiction account of free trade in Peru and Colombia, which will be published in September. The longtime friends, who have collaborated on creative projects in the past, discussed one of the themes in the book: natural resource extraction in the Amazon and the effects on the indigenous peoples.

"Arno and I both have experience working in foreign places and we're always wondering what's going on at home," says Herb, a 2011 MA in Intercultural and International Communication graduate who lives in Victoria. "I realized that there are similar things - tons of super heavy-hitting stuff - going on right here. Royal Roads gave me the language and credibility to chase down those things and do work with more context."  Read more...