Azerbaijani activists and journalists not free to collect Freedom of Expression Award

Azerbaijani activists and journalists not free to collect Freedom of Expression Award

Guest blog from Index on Censorship Index on Censorship gave a special award at our 15th Freedom of Expression Awards – to a group of people in Azerbaijan not able to join us to collect it. Over the past eight months, Azerbaijani authorities, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, have been engaged in relentless...
#Budget2015: Welfare for Fossil Fuels, Austerity for the rest

#Budget2015: Welfare for Fossil Fuels, Austerity for the rest

This blog was written jointly with Greg Muttitt of Oil Change International Today, Osborne announced massive tax breaks and subsidies for North Sea oil companies. A new £1.3 billion in subsidies will be handed to oil companies, with the burden transferred to the public. £1.3 billion could cover the costs of employing another 20,000 nurses...
Art and power: reflections on austerity and sponsorship

Art and power: reflections on austerity and sponsorship

We often get asked: if we want the arts to be free from sponsorship by climate-wrecking oil companies, where’s the money going to come from? And aren’t we just going to push art institutions towards other corporate sponsors (arms dealers, banks) with tarnished reputations to polish? My immediate answer to this question is in the...
Demand UK MPs speak out against Azerbaijan Repression

Demand UK MPs speak out against Azerbaijan Repression

In 100 days the European Olympics will be taking place in Baku. As stadiums are completed and flags unfurled many of the people we know in Azerbaijan are in prison. The European Games are being used to goldwash the BP-Aliyev regime. So desperate are they to host the event that, despite serious economic problems, they’re...
Guest post: why we picketed Student Pride

Guest post: why we picketed Student Pride

This is a guest blog by Hannah Smith. A shorter version of this piece appeared in Diva Magazine’s blog. A strange thing happened the very first time I went to a pride march; usually a chatterbox, I fell silent. Watching the procession I was overwhelmed by a connection to the queer community – my community...
Oil Be Back: could drilling begin again in Ogoniland 22 years after the people kicked Shell out?

Oil Be Back: could drilling begin again in Ogoniland 22 years after the people kicked Shell out?

Recently there has been a flurry of Nigerian media headlines stating that oil drilling in Ogoniland could soon re-start. I have tried to dig deeper to assess what is currently known and what questions remain. Has Shell sold assets in Ogoniland? So far, there have been no news stories outside of Nigeria about Shell’s plans...
Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts

Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts

If you missed Take the Money and Run? – a discussion-packed day on ethics and arts funding – you also missed our sneak preview of Artwash the new book written by Mel Evans. Fear not! Mel recorded this short intro so you don’t have to miss out… 20 April 2015 is the fifth anniversary of...
SuAndi of National Black Arts Alliance on justice in arts funding

SuAndi of National Black Arts Alliance on justice in arts funding

In November I participated in a seminar* on arts policy and heard writer, performance poet, and Freelance Cultural Director of National Black Arts Alliance, SuAndi give an arresting paper to an almost totally white audience of arts practitioners, funders, and policymakers. She generously agreed to it being published here.     “I have told this before Many times Too...
We forced Tate to reveal BP secrets - now what?

We forced Tate to reveal BP secrets – now what?

Nearly three years after we first set out to find out how much BP gave Tate, the galleries  have finally revealed BP’s contribution between 1990-2006. The figures range between £150,000-£330,000 a year – even less than we expected. When I tried to lay the numbers out on a graph for comparison, it was hard to even get BP’s contribution to be visible...
Shake! takes on #StatesOfViolence

Shake! takes on #StatesOfViolence

This is a guest post by poet  and Shake! facilitator Zena Edwards. You can find more information about the next Shake! intensive course (16-20 February 2015) and how to apply here, and find Zena on Twitter: @ZenaEdwards Shake Youth Arts and Activism project has a new intensive course brewing. From Monday 16th February, we shall be...
Share price of BP falling - will Shell take over BP?

Share price of BP falling – will Shell take over BP?

As the London Stock Exchange opened at 09.00 on Tuesday, 16th December, BP’s shareprice was down to 365 pence. It was the bottom of a long slide from 448 pence on the 21st November and investors in the company looked concerned that BP was failing badly. Shares in BP have lost 25% of their value...
2014: ten moments of a culture beyond oil

2014: ten moments of a culture beyond oil

What will we remember about the oil industry in 2014? Aside from falling oil prices and ongoing debates about fracking (did you know New York state just banned it?), there are more and more signs this year that ‘social licence’ is becoming the industry’s largest challenge (like this Canadian industry expert points out). Where would oil companies be without...