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For Lucy Fairley, co-founder of Helix Arts and Crossings

For Lucy Fairley, co-founder of Helix Arts and Crossings

My friend and Platform ally Lucy Fairley has died, aged 70. We’ve known her and her work for nearly 25 years and worked especially closely with her in the late 1990s. She co-founded Artists Agency with Esther Salamon in Sunderland in 1993, later changing its name to Helix Arts. It is one of the country’s early...
Strip away the carapace – the Ice Age, BP, and the British Museum

Strip away the carapace – the Ice Age, BP, and the British Museum

It pushes me quickly to tears. I’m kneeling on the cold stone floor of the Great Court, legs tucked beneath me, one foot crossed under the other. I’m listening to a rendition of A Requiem to Sinking Cities – an agit-performance in the heart of the British Museum. Silent figures hold up two banners, ‘#DropBP’...
The changing wind - shedding the carbon skin

The changing wind – shedding the carbon skin

  I am cramming chocolate into your mouth. I feel the dampness of your lips against my fingertips and see the brown squares tumble into the darkness. It takes seconds to complete the task, but the time draws out, slows down. All around is mayhem. The wind makes the shrouds howl. The sound thrusts a...
“Unprecedented Change”? What does a corporation in transition look like? - notes from the Shell AGM 2016

“Unprecedented Change”? What does a corporation in transition look like? – notes from the Shell AGM 2016

“Innovation and care are in our DNA”, says the soft female voice-over that accompanies the new promotional video by Shell. We, the attendees at the corporation’s 2016 Annual General Meeting in the Circus Theater, Scheveningen, sit comfortably in our red velvet seats watching the massive screen above the heads of the Shell directors on the...
Ffos-y-Fran and Nant Llseg - the struggle to #keepitintheground

Ffos-y-Fran and Nant Llseg – the struggle to #keepitintheground

On the morning of 3rd May 2016 there was a successful occupation at the Ffos-y-Fran opencast mine in South Wales by Reclaim the Power. This blog was written in the build up to that action. We’re heading for our tent in the incessant drizzle, weaving between clusters of newly sprouted tents and trying hard to...
Drawing Red Lines - from Paris to Ffos-y-fran

Drawing Red Lines – from Paris to Ffos-y-fran

I watched the twitter feed and followed the news early last December filled with a mixture of excitement at what unfolded in Paris and mild envy of companions who were immersed in the ebb and flow of events around COP 21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. As the reports of the...
“You come from the premise that we are guilty already” - notes from the BP AGM 2016

“You come from the premise that we are guilty already” – notes from the BP AGM 2016

Bob Dudley, Chief Executive, who appears tired, pale and jowly, looks up from his notes and addresses a set of questions that have been put to the Board. This particular set from delegates at the Annual General Meeting of BP, are grouped together under the bracket of ‘concerned with climate change’. He peers out at...
Walking the Line. New Interactive Documentary

Walking the Line. New Interactive Documentary

In Italy, Azerbaijan and the UK people are fighting against the devastating impacts of import pipelines and wresting back control over their energy system. In this beautiful documentary we made with Global Motion, Re:common and Counter Balance we meet the people who live alongside the Euro-Caspian Mega Pipeline and are organising against this gargantuan piece...
Possession - the Boxing Day Floods and the recommoning of the rivers

Possession – the Boxing Day Floods and the recommoning of the rivers

We wake in a B&B in Kilnsea, the last village before the shingle bar of Spurn Head that juts out from Holderness in East Yorkshire. All night a South Easterly wind of Force 6, gusting to Force 7, has buffeted the farmhouse. From the windows we can see white horses on the River Humber and...