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Art and power: reflections on austerity and sponsorship

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...
Take the Money and Run? a response to an event about ethics, funding and art by Mary Paterson

Take the Money and Run? a response to an event about ethics, funding and art by Mary Paterson

Take The Money And Run? was an event about ethics, funding and art that took place at Toynbee Studios, London on January 29, 2015. Attended by over 200 people, it was a day of presentations and discussion hosted by three organisations, Live Art Development Agency, Artsadmin, Home Live Art and produced in collaboration with Platform. We commissioned Mary Paterson...
We forced Tate to reveal BP secrets - now what?

We forced Tate to reveal BP secrets – now what?

Nearly three years after we first set out to find out how much BP gave Tate, the galleries  have finally revealed BP’s contribution between 1990-2006. The figures range between £150,000-£330,000 a year – even less than we expected. When I tried to lay the numbers out on a graph for comparison, it was hard to even get BP’s contribution to be visible...
Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts

Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts

Order Artwash for just £10 (RRP £12.99) UK postage or collect in person: Go to our shop for checkout and more options As major oil companies face continual public backlash, many have found it helpful to engage in “art washing”—donating large sums to cultural institutions to shore up their good name. But what effect does...
Share price of BP falling - will Shell take over BP?

Share price of BP falling – will Shell take over BP?

As the London Stock Exchange opened at 09.00 on Tuesday, 16th December, BP’s shareprice was down to 365 pence. It was the bottom of a long slide from 448 pence on the 21st November and investors in the company looked concerned that BP was failing badly. Shares in BP have lost 25% of their value...
A manifesto for Energy beyond Neoliberalism

A manifesto for Energy beyond Neoliberalism

We’ve written a manifesto titled Energy beyond Neoliberalism: “This is a call for energy democracy. Not energy security or energy separation. A survivable and just energy future means breaking the grip of elite interests on our energy systems, ending dependency, increasing autonomy, building diverse power structures through which we can hold one another to account,...
Bill McKibben slams Shell sponsorship at Chatham House keynote on climate 

Bill McKibben slams Shell sponsorship at Chatham House keynote on climate 

More images available on request Contact: [email protected] — @platformlondon Speaking at the annual Chatham House climate change conference, keynote speaker Bill McKibben of 350.org said: I didn’t know Shell was sponsoring this conference when I agreed to do it, but I’m glad for the chance to say in public that Shell is among the most...
Shell's climate marketing tricks

Shell’s climate marketing tricks

Have you seen all these new Shell ads? Billboards on high streets and tube stations celebrate Shell as a champion of climate action and “keeping-the-lights-on”. When she’s your age What’s the way to keep the lights on into 2050? Burn the rest of the world’s fossil fuels, of course. And look, she’s even got a...
Exciting week for ending the licence to spill

Exciting week for ending the licence to spill

Why do BP and Shell need cultural institutions (Tate, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery), consumer brands (Lego, Waitrose) and universities? The simple answer is so that the rest of us think we need them. As the Tate’s lawyer explained BP’s sponsorship, if they didn’t think they were getting something out of it, they wouldn’t do...
BP and #IndyRef - the need to constrain corporate influence in our democracy

BP and #IndyRef – the need to constrain corporate influence in our democracy

Around about 3.00 am on the morning of Friday 19th September, whilst anxiously watching the results come in on the Scottish Independence Referendum, we heard one of the commentators on STV ‘Scotland Decides’ explain his view that after months of the politicians being unable to help the voters make their decision, ‘business leaders’ had stepped...
Stolen dreams and the small people - BP, Russia & Deepwater Horizon

Stolen dreams and the small people – BP, Russia & Deepwater Horizon

I’d wanted to to attend the BP AGM, but confined to my sick bed I had to make do with following it online. Watching the company webcast, reading the transcripts of the speeches and, most vitally, following the brilliant live-tweets of my colleagues Louise Rouse of ShareAction and Charlie Kronick of Greenpeace UK. In part...
Gas grabs and 5 questions to power at the Caspian Corridor Conference

Gas grabs and 5 questions to power at the Caspian Corridor Conference

The Euro Caspian Mega Pipeline is a massive infrastructure system designed to suck gas out of the Caspian into Western Europe. Construction of the pipeline involves politics and finance as much as it does concrete building materials,  and the conference I’m about to go to is one in a series of events attempting to make...