6 Audacious Actions to End Oil Sponsorship of the Arts
6 Audacious Actions to End Oil Sponsorship of the Arts
By Andrew Butler / filmsforaction.org
Jun 14, 2015

In the UK calls are growing to end sponsorship of the arts by fossil fuel companies. Members of the Art Not Oil coalition have been staging incredible interventions at institutions sponsored by oil companies, notably BP. Representing “ a cross-section of people - artists, cultural event and gallery-goers, environmentalists, human rights activists and others” they believe “that oil company logos represent a stain on our cultural institutions”.

Oil companies cultivate arts and culture sponsorship relationships to help create a ‘social licence to operate’. This contributes to the veneer of legitimacy that enables them to keep expanding operations at a time of climate crisis and to stifle the demands for justice of those communities who live on the frontline of their destructive, polluting operations.

1. 23 Hour Takeover of the Tate Modern

Using words, bodies, charcoal and sustenance, this Liberate Tate performance took place from High Tide on 13.06.15 (11:53am) until High Tide on 14.06.15 (12:55pm).

Time Piece is a tide of stories and narratives flowing in waves up the slope of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. The texts are fictional and factual responses to art, activism, climate change and the oil industry. The performance explored lunar time, tidal time, ecological time, geological time and all the ways in which we are running out of time: from climate change to gallery opening hours; from the anthropocene to the beginning of the end of oil sponsorship of the arts.

 

Liberate Tate creates unsanctioned live art inside Tate spaces to free Tate from BP. In 2015, it was revealed that BP sponsorship is worth less than half a percentage of Tate annual spending, and is around forty times less than the sum donated by Tate Members last year.

2. BP Oil Spill & Reverend Billy Inside the British Museum

Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir joined forces with "BP or not BP?" to recreate the BP Deepwater Horizon spill inside the British Museum. The unsanctioned performance filled the Great Court with singing, dancing, a giant pelican drowning in oil and an impassioned sermon calling on the Museum to dump BP, whose sponsorship contract is due to expire soon.

3. 'Out damn logo!' The Reclaim Shakespeare Company at the Roundhouse

On 27th June 2012, to mark one month before the London Olympics opening ceremony, a group of merry players known as the "Reclaim Shakespeare Company" took unexpectedly to the stage at the Roundhouse Theatre in Camden. Five minutes before a BP-sponsored Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) performance of The Comedy of Errors was due to begin, the actors performed a short Shakespeare-inspired piece. They challenged the RSC and the London Olympics over their decision to accept sponsorship from BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster and the company's decision to start extracting highly polluting and destructive tar sands oil in Canada.

The surprise performance coincided with a theatre outing for BP employees, which meant that a significant portion of the audience was made up of BP staff, making the pop-up protest especially embarrassing for the RSC.

4. The Gift - Wind Turbline Blade Delivered to The Tate

On 7 July 2012 Liberate Tate installed a 16.5 metre, one and a half tonne wind turbine blade in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in a guerrilla performance by over 100 members of the art collective. The artwork, called The Gift, was submitted to be part of Tate’s permanent collection as a gift to the nation ‘given for the benefit of the public’ under the provisions of the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, the Act from which Tate’s mission is drawn.

5. Royal Opera House hit by double protest during BP-sponsored opera

The Royal Opera House was hit by two simultaneous protests against its BP sponsorship during its first “BP Big Screen” of the year, where an opera in Covent Garden is transmitted live to big screens and cinemas across the UK. As the interval of the BP-sponsored opera drew to a close, two young composers stood up in the stalls of the Royal Opera House and began to sing about BP’s damage to the Gulf of Mexico and unfurled a banner with the words, “BP: Fuelling Tragedy.” Earlier in the performance, two activists at the “BP Big Screen” event in Trafalgar Square gate-crashed a presenter’s piece to camera, causing their “End Oil Sponsorship” banner to be shared live on screens across the UK.

6. Busily Pillaging: BP Vikings Exhibition

BP sponsored an exhibition about the Vikings at the British Museum. That’s right – those remorseless plunderers of wealth and resources are funding an exhibition about the Vikings.

The Vikings believed that Ragnarok, the end of the world, would see a rising of the oceans and a great burning of the earth. BP’s business plan relies on such a future. BP admits that continuing to extract and burn oil will lead to disastrous climate change, but according to its own annual report it is hoping to keep on digging up and selling the stuff until we’ve passed the point of no return.

 

 
0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
Baraka (1992)
97 min · 10,157 views today · Featuring no conventional narrative, this film presents footage of people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness, the movie takes...
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 8,644 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 6,787 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
The Myth of Romantic Love May Be Ruining Your Health
Susanne Vosmer · 4,199 views today · Romantic love in Western societies is often portrayed in a stereotypical way: two yearning halves, who search for each other to find their complete, original state. Few find...
Why I Think This World Should End
4 min · 4,163 views today · Sorry if this offends you. - Prince Ea
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 4,119 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
Prophecy Delivered! Martin Luther King Jr. and the Death of Democracy
Reverend Osagyefo Sekou · 3,776 views today · “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Democracy is dead. It...
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 3,501 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,849 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 2,479 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: Bracing for Trump's Anti-Worker, Corporate Agenda
Colin Jenkins · 2,407 views today · Rich people don’t have to have a life-and-death relationship with the truth and its questions; they can ignore the truth and still thrive materially. I am not surprised many...
Trump Is a Symptom of a Sickness That Is Raging All Across The World
1 min · 1,554 views today · This is why we are here. And this is what we need to remember. 
Thoughts on the Eve of the Trump Regime
Mark Corske · 1,529 views today · A blend of dread, disgust, rage, and despair for the future, all in a state of shocked disbelief—if you feel something like this facing the Trump regime’s ascent to power...
Union Co-Operatives: What They Are and Why We Need Them
Simon Taylor · 1,300 views today · Neoliberal policies contribute to alienation, disempowerment and non-unionised jobs, but a new model for unions could break the vicious circle, argues Simon Taylor.
Something Better to Offer Trump Voters Tired of Waiting for Their Turn
David Korten · 1,222 views today · A world free of extremes of wealth and poverty in which no one needs to stand in line for a chance at a secure and fulfilling life.
What Is a Gift Economy? - Alex Gendler
4 min · 1,098 views today · What if, this holiday season, instead of saying "thank you" to your aunt for her gift of a knitted sweater, the polite response expected from you was to show up at her house in...
Living Through an Age of Unraveling: Reflections as We Enter 2017
Martin Winiecki · 814 views today · “There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 751 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
What Is My Activism Really About? to Love, Serve and Remember
Tim Hjersted · 545 views today · I have made a promise to this world that I will carry with me to my last days. It is my vow to lessen the suffering of the world while I am here - it is to ensure that every...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 532 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
6 Audacious Actions to End Oil Sponsorship of the Arts