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On Books: Abandoned Alberta II


Given that it was a collection of photographs depicting disused, tumbledown, decrepit buildings, Abandoned Alberta may have seemed an unlikely candidate to become a sensational smash hit. However, when it came out a couple of years ago, Joe Chowaniec‘s book of poignant, thought-provoking, gorgeously shot photos was a blockbuster bestseller, got written up by everyone from the Calgary Herald to the Times of London, and even spurred a year-long exhibition at the Royal Alberta Museum. And this autumn, Joe and MacIntyre Purcell Publishing have returned with the follow-up, Abandoned Alberta II. Plus, in addition to the new book, Joe’s releasing an Abandoned Alberta 2023 calendar, which is officially out November 10th.

We first talked to Joe about his captivating Abandoned Alberta project back in 2020. Now Joe Chowaniec rejoins Grant Stovel to talk about the wild ride that the international success of this regional passion project has brought him, the new book and calendar, and why he thinks these striking images of decay fascinate us all so.