Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

On 18th April Ilham Aliyev will be inaugurated for the fourth time as President of Azerbaijan. His re-election comes as no surprise. It is so predictable that it barely counted as ‘news’ and consequently got next to no coverage in the international media. Originally the election was scheduled for 17th October, but at nine weeks...
Vive La Zad ! – in the midst of the tear gas, La Zad exists in our hearts

Vive La Zad ! – in the midst of the tear gas, La Zad exists in our hearts

The police arrived at 03.00 am on the morning of Monday 9th April. The exact number is, of course, unclear but it is said that 2,500 officers in riot equipment, with crash helmets and visors, Perspex shields and plastic body armour were deployed. Two and a half thousand highly trained men appeared out of the...
La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

We’re in the middle of the crowd. Standing some way back from the stage, watching transfixed and elated at the performance of Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp. Two trombones, two drummers, two marimbas, two electric guitars, two cellos and five other musicians blast out such a blissful riot of sound that our souls sail above...
Defending the NHS – Platform and a community of health

Defending the NHS – Platform and a community of health

Recently I was sitting talking with a friend who was relating the harrowing tale of her partner’s sudden illness. My heart was in my mouth as she described the paramedics arriving in minutes to their home, the ambulance that took them to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, her partner being transferred to a specialist clinic...
UK-based and angry about #MuslimBan? Here's 5 things to do.

UK-based and angry about #MuslimBan? Here’s 5 things to do.

UK people. Are you angry about Trump’s attempts to deport people from the US? Did you perhaps go to the Women’s March, or sign that oddly-worded petition about cancelling Trump’s visit? Well, we’ve got more work to do (join a protest against the #MuslimBan this week), and more importantly, more work to do at home. Muslim lives, the...
Breaking: The Struggle to Free the Bus: The Twists, the Turns and the Conspiracies 

Breaking: The Struggle to Free the Bus: The Twists, the Turns and the Conspiracies 

BREAKING Guest Blog by Ken Henshaw, Social Action, Nigeria The extraordinary behind-the-scenes story of the Bus memorial seizure and the struggle to release it, on the day of the 3rd Hearing to release the memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 8. Show your support – follow and tweet @GreatOgoni, @Kenn_Henshaw, @S_DouglasCamp. Support the Movement...
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...
A journey to 'communities of the ideal'

A journey to ‘communities of the ideal’

A while back James Marriott made a journey to two communities – each of which tries to approach an ideal. This is his reflection on the experience. The first, La R.o.n.c.e in the Morbihan region of Brittany, is being established on an abandoned farm by six activists and artist-activists, two of whom, John Jordan and...
Picture This - artist Raoul Martinez on why oil sponsorship must end

Picture This – artist Raoul Martinez on why oil sponsorship must end

Over the past week we’ve published chapter by chapter the text from our new report ‘Picture This’ against BP’s sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait Award. Below is the final chapter, ‘Picturing the Future’, brilliantly and calmly reasoned by artist Raoul Martinez. Raoul has been 3-times shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award and has...
'Picture This' report extract - BP's ongoing Gulf Coast disaster & 'artful dodging'

‘Picture This’ report extract – BP’s ongoing Gulf Coast disaster & ‘artful dodging’

Last week we published a critical new report ‘Picture This – A Portrait of 25 years of BP Sponsorship‘, timed with the opening of the National Portrait Gallery London’s new ‘BP Portrait Award’ exhibition. In a series of blogs, we are featuring extracts from the report. Today’s blog shares devastating testimony and analysis from two...
Art Not Oil's week of action on NPG's 'BP Portrait Award'

Art Not Oil’s week of action on NPG’s ‘BP Portrait Award’

Have a look at the ‘Storify’ to see some of the actions, reactions and impacts that happened around the National Portrait Gallery’s opening of this year’s BP Portrait Award. The main events were… On Saturday – ‘Portraits in Oil‘ performance-intervention at the NPG by Art Not Oil Coalition On Wednesday (day  of the exhibition’s press...
'Picture This' extract - 25 years of BP Sponsorship, year by year

‘Picture This’ extract – 25 years of BP Sponsorship, year by year

Today we focus on the section of our report that outlined BP’s track record 1989 – 2014, the period of BP’s sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait Award. Here’s the whole report.  We have pulled out 25 examples of BP’s worst environmental and human rights disasters and also evidence of dodgy and backroom deals...