Newsletter Signup

Uneasy listening: Shell, Strauss and the Southbank Centre

Uneasy listening: Shell, Strauss and the Southbank Centre

 This is a guest blog by Chris Garrard, a doctoral candidate in composition at the Faculty of Music at the University of Oxford. He is also an environmental and human rights campaigner. Yesterday afternoon, I attended a performance of Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen performed by Spira Mirabilis, with their rich performance sandwiched between two informative talks....
From the Niger Delta to the City of London: taking the fight to Shell

From the Niger Delta to the City of London: taking the fight to Shell

There are moments sometimes when you are suddenly struck by the realisation that this is what life is about. I am not talking about being in the green fields at Glastonbury after a rather potent chai tea. I am talking about the feeling of a tiny, temporary re-balancing of the injustice of the universe –...
Platform receives AWEInspiring Arts & Environment Award

Platform receives AWEInspiring Arts & Environment Award

Last night saw Platform honoured with an art award from an unusual ally. The organisation making the award – CIWEM (The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) – is the professional body for those individuals and companies who work in water and environmental management. It has a national and international membership, signed up to advancing sustainability...
Shell AGM: "With patience and saliva the ants devour the elephant"

Shell AGM: “With patience and saliva the ants devour the elephant”

Just returning from the Annual General Meeting of Shell at Den Haag in the Netherlands – tired but exhilarated by the experience. As with the AGM in 2012 there was a powerful array of civil society groups from all over the world taking the time and devoting the energy to travel to the grey, rain...
BP is planning a $40 bn pipeline and wants us to subsidise it

BP is planning a $40 bn pipeline and wants us to subsidise it

BP pushed for major subsidies at the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) AGM in Istanbul last weekend, while hyping the grand scale of its Euro-Caspian Mega Pipeline plans. Between speeches by Prime Ministers and sessions on “Supporting Growth Amidst Austerity”, oil companies revealed their intentions to spend $40 billion expanding Europe’s gas grid...
Even oil dictators need a social license to operate - Aliyev's cultural spending spree

Even oil dictators need a social license to operate – Aliyev’s cultural spending spree

Whether it’s BP’s sponsorship of the Tate galleries, Shell’s funding for the Southbank Centre or Tullow Oil’s controversial deals with Sunderland football club oil company sponsorship of the arts is a familiar phenomenon. But what about oil dictators? Do they also need a social license to operate? What kinds of institutions would they throw money...
Tate members accuse Serota of 'misrepresentation' over BP questions at AGM

Tate members accuse Serota of ‘misrepresentation’ over BP questions at AGM

In December last year, a number of Tate Members wrote a letter to the Tate Members Council to raise concerns about the controversial sponsorship deal with BP, and some of those signatories went to the Tate Members AGM to discuss the issues face to face. The AGM was again dominated by the issue, with critical...
The battle of definitions: ‘no subsidies for the oil industry’

The battle of definitions: ‘no subsidies for the oil industry’

The oil and gas industry enjoys no subsidy from government, nor are we asking for any. – said last week by Oil&Gas UK CEO Malcolm Webb at the Oil Politics conference at Aberdeen University (I should mention that there were several more substantial conversations at this conference that I will take a little time to write...
Growing unease in Norway over Statoil and cultural sponsorship

Growing unease in Norway over Statoil and cultural sponsorship

A few months ago we published a blog post from someone who felt that they could no longer engage with the Bergen International Festival because of Statoil sponsorship. It’s now turned into a more sustained debate in Norway about the role that the oil company plays in the cultural sector. Here’s some more info from...
More reviews and analysis of The Oil Road, and paperback release news

More reviews and analysis of The Oil Road, and paperback release news

The Oil Road continues to get great feedback from the press, blogs and at events all over the country, and we’re delighted to announce that it will be coming out in paperback in Autumn 2013. Last month, Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed did a special programme on ‘The Power of Oil’, featuring James Marriott of Platform, Prof....
Can't buy me love? Walking the ethical fundraising tightrope

Can’t buy me love? Walking the ethical fundraising tightrope

“The worst kind of business environment, mixed with moral manipulation,” was how a friend of mine described fundraising in a large charity. I sympathise with those fundraisers, because I’ve worked in fundraising teams with heavy bottom lines and sky-high targets. Producing high returns on investment is the constant pressure on fundraisers so it’s not surprising...
Gulf Coast organisations respond to Liberate Tate's 'BP Trial' performance

Gulf Coast organisations respond to Liberate Tate’s ‘BP Trial’ performance

Last week saw art-interventionists Liberate Tate carry out a week long performance in Tate Modern, with three different performers whispering excerpts from the BP trial transcripts for an hour every day. Using specially constructed frames to hold a mobile phone, the performers filmed themselves and live-streamed their delivery so that people from all over the...