Visitors to London’s iconic Tate Modern gallery this week might be a bit bemused to glimpse figures with strange filming devices strapped on to their bodies and wandering about muttering to themselves. It’s the latest performance from art-interventionists Liberate Tate, who are performing the BP trial over the course of the week in Tate Modern, and live streaming it so that everyone can check out the performance.
Starting last Monday, the third anniversary of the leaking oil being detected in the Gulf of Mexico, three different performers every day are whispering courtroom transcripts from the BP trial, the first phase of which recently ended in New Orleans. Each performer is wearing a specially constructed SnorriCam that records their ‘whispering-heads’ and all three are live-streamed on to the www.all-rise.org website.
It’s the second Liberate Tate performance that has been timed to coincide with the Deepwater Horizon anniversary. Two years ago they performed Human Cost in the centre of the Duveen Gallery in Tate Britain, where a naked man curled up in the foetal position had oil poured all over him by veiled figures. And now three years after the tragic disaster that claimed the lives of eleven men and devastated communities and ecosystems along the Gulf Coast, Liberate Tate are performing the link between an art gallery in London and a civil trial that’s been taking place almost 7,00 miles away.
It’s tempting to think that the world has moved on from the Deepwater Horizon disaster – but the impacts of the crisis are very much present in the minds of those communities along the Gulf that are still fighting for compensation and from BP and still trying to find out the extent of the damage that has been caused to marine life.
While this performance has been taking place, we’ve been talking to friends from the Bridge The Gulf project who have outlined below some of the ways in which the impacts of the spill are still being felt, and how communities are still fighting for justice.
Tune in everyday between 3 and 4pm (GMT+1) to www.all-rise.org
Gulf Coast delegation speaks out at BP shareholder meeting, gets offensive, out-of-touch response from BP executives. At BP’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week, BP Chief Bob Dudley said “[the Gulf of Mexico is] an ecosystem that’s used to oil,” and “The toxicity of Corexit is about the same as dish soap.”
BP’s crude oil and dispersants have set off a health crisis in coastal communities. “I’m talking about illnesses that are going to last for the rest of their lives.” – Dr. Mike Robichaux, Physician from Louisiana.
“…evidence suggests that the cleanup effort has been more destructive to human health and the environment than the spill itself.” – from the report released today by the Government Accountability Project: “Deadly Dispersants in the Gulf: Are Public Health and Environmental Tragedies the New Norm for Oil Spill Cleanups?”
Facing ongoing economic devastation and fishery decline, fishermen are speaking out against BP’s incomplete clean-up, use of dispersants, and settlement and claims process.
Big money will flow to the Gulf states for ecosystem restoration, but how will it be spent? 59 organizations from across the Gulf released shared priorities for ecosystem recovery/use of RESTORE Act dollars.