Platform was formed in 1983 as a place for artists and activists to act together on social and environmental issues. While the group has evolved we continue to hold to our original purpose. We have experimented with new methods and tactics and engaged in artistic and political movements over the many years, to deepen the expression of our core values. Early on, the group used street theatre, music and agitprop, coupling imagination to political action, and injecting activism into the arts. In the 1980s, as Thatcherism was in full flood, Platform supported striking hospital cleaners and their trade union in “Addenbrookes Blues”, and resisted the privatisation of a much-loved public venue in “Corny Exchanges”. Platform was also involved in anti-nuclear protest, and opposing cuts to student grants. In the late 1980s, Platform immersed itself in environmental politics and travelled to Germany to learn from the growing Green and Direct Democracy movements. We were particularly influenced by artist Joseph Beuys’ “Social Sculpture”, Green activist Petra Kelly, and writer/dissident Rudolf Bahro. Their influence can be seen in projects during the early 1990s such as “Still Waters” which proposed the digging up of London’s buried rivers and the re-establishment of valley communities, and “Delta” which generated hydro-power from the River Wandle to light a nearby school. In 1993, “Homeland” tackled issues of resource justice and transnational trade. We introduced the public to the relatively new concept of the ecological footprint through a participatory project looking at how the all the elements of a single light bulb come to London. Then in 1995, the writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed by the Nigerian government and a battle raged over the disposal of Brent Spar, Shell’s North Sea oil storage rig. Those seismic events turned Platform’s focus onto the human rights and environmental impacts of oil companies, in particular BP and Shell. Today we continue to maintain this focus. Since 1983, we have created over 30 projects and developed many more through collaborations.
2013 CIWEM AWEInspiring Award for 30 years’ achievement
2012 Lush Charity Pot Award
2000 Schumacher Society Annual Award
1998 Environment Foundation Fellowship Award for ‘Carbon Generations’
1992 Time Out Award for ‘Still Waters’
1995 ‘Eco-Schools Award’ to St Joseph’s Primary School, Wandsworth (receiving hydro energy from river Wandle through collaboration with Platform and Intermeidate Technology Development Group.)