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Cabalcor: An Extracted History is Sun Belt's visionary work of fiction presented as an illustrated history of a tar sands company town. Drawing from an array of invented sources such as journals, film transcripts, environmental studies and police reports, Cabalcor charts the rise and fall of a mythical boomtown that, within the span of a century, becomes a desert wasteland. The multi-layered narrative is woven together by an extraordinary blend of texts and images, plus a downloadable album of Sun Belt’s quietly surreal, dusty music. The 168-page book is published by Anvil Press in collaboration with OffSeason Records.

Cabalcor: An Extracted History is available through the Anvil Press website or you can contact Sun Belt directly.


An excerpt from Cabalcor: An Extracted History

We saw the dust before we saw the men. They came from the south, that’s what we were told. We’d been told many things that year. Rumours had spread through town about the corporation contracting out specialists of some kind and those rumours only got louder once the union came out of the shadows.

The first union folks, my uncles and the rest, they were brave but they weren’t stupid. So they set up their headquarters north of town, up in Fort Iquique. Yet that move was seen as a statement on account of all the people who were getting sick up there—indigenous people, mostly, people who didn’t even work at the plant. Women, children, old folks. There was a doctor there once, but he got forced out—by the company, not the locals. So the union’s Local No. 1 presence there drew its own kind of attention, whether the founding members meant it or not. There were those in the company, even day labourers, who accused us of being disloyal. Any sickness in the air or water, they said, was too easily blamed on the mines. They asked us why we were sleeping with the enemy. They asked us why we were so hell-bent on losing our jobs and threatening theirs.

The first time the windows of our headquarters were smashed in, it was exactly three o’clock in the afternoon on a Saturday. I remember looking up at the clock and the next thing I knew my table was covered in shards of glass. Somehow, there wasn’t a scratch on me. Not that time anyway. It wasn’t long before fights broke out on those quiet streets up in Fort Iquique. Some people said it was inevitable. I say it was inevitable because somebody made it so.

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