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Victory at Leith Hill! Divest Fracking! Resisting sites of speculation

This piece was written before the news of the draconian jail sentences passed on those opposing fracking in Preston, Lancashire … but that bitter ruling does not destroy the reality that shortly before that decision we celebrated a Victory! The News of an Amazing Victory! We wrote of it as follows … The permission to...

The Invisible Machine – a gas pipeline in the Caucasus and a handshake in No10

On the evening of Thursday 26th April 2018, it was warm and sunny in London. President Ilham Aliyev strode down Downing Street and was met by Prime Minister Theresa May with smile and a handshake. They posed for the cameras on the red carpet outside No 10 and then retired inside. A short formal chat...

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...

Communal Memory – the power of community to resist Shell in Nigeria

I’m holding in my hands a report published by Amnesty International in November last year – ‘A Criminal Enterprise? Shell’s involvement in human rights violations in Nigeria in the 1990s’. It analyses in forensic detail exactly how much Shell staff knew about, and were involved in supporting, the actions by the Nigerian military taken against...

We will Remember them – those who were hung and those who executed the hanging

Here again. Standing before the white Portland Stone cenotaph of the Shell Center. A crowd of fifty or more in silent attention as the names of the dead are read out: Saturday Dobee Nordu Eawo Daniel Gbooko Paul Levera Felix Nuate Baribor Bera Barinem Kiobel John Kpuinen Ken Saro-Wiwa The chief mourner is Lazarus Tamana,...

Mind the Gap: Contradictions in Tate’s ethical decision-making over BP

In 2016 Tate will decide whether to renew its current five-year sponsorship deal with BP. Tate’s Ethics Committee last reviewed BP sponsorship in 2010-11 to make a recommendation to the art museum’s Board of Trustees for or against renewal. This happened while increasing numbers of artists, Tate members, gallery visitors and commentators were challenging BP’s...

Tate’s BP decision: What should Tate have done differently?

David Carrington explains why arts organisations seeking commercial support could learn important lessons from the way Tate conducts itself as revealed through the recent BP sponsorship Freedom of Information case. David is an independent consultant and governance adviser. This article is part of ‘Mind the Gap: expert evaluations of Tate’s ethical decision-making over BP‘. For...

Tate’s BP decision: Climate, ethics, and reputation-management

by Bridget McKenzie Bridget McKenzie is a cultural learning consultant and director of Flow UK. Previously she was head of learning at the British Library for five years, and was Education Officer for Tate. This article is part of ‘Mind the Gap: expert evaluations of Tate’s ethical decision-making over BP’. For more expert comment and...

#MuseumWeek special: British Museum’s BP secrets revealed & more

The latest just in: British Museum’s BP secrets revealed BP Or Not BP? forced British Museum to reveal: BP sponsorship was just £596,000 per year from 2000- 2011 – around 0.8% of the Museum’s income. The figures were revealed under Freedom Of Information Act, just a few weeks after we forced Tate to admit that BP’s...

New book ‘Artwash’ reveals Big Oil’s art PR strategies

Artwash: Big Oil and The Arts by Mel Evans, out 20 April with Pluto Press To arrange interviews, contact Anna Galkina / [email protected] / @platformlondon For review copies or to arrange the publication of an abstract, contact Alison Alexanian / [email protected] New book analyses BP and Shell’s strategy to gain ‘social licence to operate’ by...

Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts. Out 20.04.15. Press pack

Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts is out 20.04.2015. Images and video here

Art and power: reflections on austerity and sponsorship

We often get asked: if we want the arts to be free from sponsorship by climate-wrecking oil companies, where’s the money going to come from? And aren’t we just going to push art institutions towards other corporate sponsors (arms dealers, banks) with tarnished reputations to polish? My immediate answer to this question is in the...