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Shell's involvement in the arts targeted twice in one week

Shell’s involvement in the arts targeted twice in one week

It was an embarrassing week for all of those involved in Shell’s sponsorship of London’s cultural institutions. On the evening of Friday 1st March 2013, a group of singers and musicians called Shell Out Sounds made an unexpected musical intervention at the Southbank Centre, during the interval of a Shell-sponsored performance by members of the Berliner...
Sticky future of Arctic oil - talk at Visionary Arctic seminar

Sticky future of Arctic oil – talk at Visionary Arctic seminar

Nearly one and a half years ago, we went on an incredible journey to Kirkenes in the North of Norway, on the invitation of Pikene på Broen (Women on the Bridge), organisers of the annual regional Barents Spektakel arts festival. For the 2013 festival Pikene invited us to speak at their Visionary Arctic seminar, amongst a...
Celebrating women's leadership in anti-oil activism as part of #SilverAction

Celebrating women’s leadership in anti-oil activism as part of #SilverAction

If you go down to Tate’s oil tanks this Sunday, you’re sure for a pretty amazing piece of participatory performance art. Hundreds of women over the age of sixty will convene in The Tanks at Tate Modern as participants in Suzanne Lacy’s new performance artwork Silver Action. Women from across the UK who took part in significant activist...
Tate Members intervene at Tate AGM over BP sponsorship

Tate Members intervene at Tate AGM over BP sponsorship

A group of 15 fee-paying Tate members have sent a letter (see below) to the Tate Member’s council in advance of tonight’s Members’ AGM at Tate Modern asking questions about the controversial relationship between Tate and BP. At last year’s AGM, members of Liberate Tate handed over a petition of more than 8,000 people calling...
Experiencing 'The Panaudicon' - An audio tour of Tate Britain and BP sponsorship

Experiencing ‘The Panaudicon’ – An audio tour of Tate Britain and BP sponsorship

 In August 2012 a dissertation for an MSc in Sustainable Development was submitted at Exeter University that was titled TATE-Á-TATE: An exploration of Soundwalks and their potential for achieving sustainability (download here). Written by Robert Black, it featured a three part auto-ethnographic response to participation in the Tate à Tate audio tour, a three part sound...
Just how 'criminal' does BP need to get for it to violate Tate's ethics policy?

Just how ‘criminal’ does BP need to get for it to violate Tate’s ethics policy?

Point 4.1b of Tate’s Ethics Policy (that you can download here) states that Tate will not accept funds in circumstances when: The donor has acted, or is believed to have acted, illegally in the acquisition of funds, for example when funds are tainted through being the proceeds of criminal conduct. I’m not from any sort...
Yoko Ono, fracking and the Southbank Centre

Yoko Ono, fracking and the Southbank Centre

I ♥ Yoko Ono. I ♥ her effortless blurring of the boundaries between pop music and conceptual and visual art. I ♥ her constant stream of leftfield creativity in all sorts of projects. I ♥ her ‘disco not disco’ opus Walking on Thin Ice. I ♥ her strength and dignity in the face of the...
Arts cuts, oil sponsorship & Osborne's North Sea tax breaks

Arts cuts, oil sponsorship & Osborne’s North Sea tax breaks

This piece (originally titled “From oil to art, liberating culture”)  is reprinted from The New Home Front II: Policies for Ecological, Social and Economic Renewal that was launched by Caroline Lucas MP in September 2012, outlining a range of policy proposals designed to set the UK on a path to a clean, green future. Since...
National Gallery ends arms money - what it means for oil & the arts

National Gallery ends arms money – what it means for oil & the arts

There was some wonderful news today as the National Gallery announced the end of its long-standing sponsorship arrangement with controversial weapons manufacturer Finmeccanica a year before the contract was due to run its course. Organisations like CAAT and Stop the Arms Fair have conducted an amazing campaign, using public pressure and creative interventions to make...
This is about oil sponsorship, not corporate sponsorship, of the arts

This is about oil sponsorship, not corporate sponsorship, of the arts

At the end of September, the merry band of Bard-based interventionists, the Reclaim Shakespeare Company struck again in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Shortly before the BP-sponsored performance of Twelfth Night was due to begin, three actors took to the stage to perform a short piece addressing the issue of the controversial sponsorship relationship, including lines such as: Alas,...
Kate Tempest, Matthew Herbert & BP Saturdays at Tate

Kate Tempest, Matthew Herbert & BP Saturdays at Tate

On Saturday, September 22nd, an exciting collaborative installation took place at Tate Britain, involving the innovative pioneers of immersive performance, Punchdrunk. However at least two of the artists who were taking part in the didn’t seem to be aware and comfortable with the fact that the event had the top line BP sponsorship attached to...
Shell Classic International: A musical mask and a social licence

Shell Classic International: A musical mask and a social licence

A guest post from musician Chris Garrard. Tonight, the new season of the Shell Classic International concert series will open at the Southbank. The first piece of this first concert is Benajmin Britten’s ‘plea for peace’, the Sinfonia da Requiem. The unpleasant irony is that Shell, the sponsor of these concerts, have now spent in...