Newsletter Signup

Shell sponsorship repeatedly crops up on first Meltdown weekend at Southbank

Shell sponsorship repeatedly crops up on first Meltdown weekend at Southbank

The first weekend of Yoko Ono’s Meltdown festival saw the issue of Shell’s sponsorship cropping up again and again. On Friday, we revealed in our new briefing Shell: Global Mega-Frackers that the Southbank sponsor was fracking or planning to frack in every continent, with operations happening in Canada, the USA, Argentina, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, the...
30 years old today

30 years old today

Platform has no precedence in this country: a theatre group that does not believe in directors or actors; a political group that does not believe in leaving politics to politicians. It exists to heal the division of creative artist from passive audience, the division between specialist disciplines. (Manifesto, 1987) Rummaging in the archive recently, we...
Oil City begins

Oil City begins

Oil City’s first performances took place today, the start of its two week run. We don’t want to give too much away about this new work by Platform, but let’s just say this spy thriller is bringing out the spook in us all! Part of Artsadmin’s Two Degrees festival, Oil City is a piece of...
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...