July: BP resistance in Egypt, oil & universities, new Shake course
17 July 2013
While the UK endures a July heatwave (aka ‘Summer’) I’ve been sweating in the Platform storage space to make 30 years-worth of our materials more available to the public through a partnership with the Bishopsgate Institute library. We’ll let you know when it has been archived properly, but in the meantime, we have a new video about a community successfully opposing BP in Egypt, a call out for crowd-sourcing info on oil influence in UK universities, more info on the next Shake! course for young people on arts, media, race and power, and the reasons why we’re taking part in Reclaim The Power in August.
Winning against the odds – How an Egyptian community stopped BP in its tracks
Idku is a small town east of Alexandria, where the Nile Delta meets the Mediterranean. It recently fought off plans by BP to build a gas terminal on its land as part of an $11 billion project. After a year of delays, the oil company was forced to re-route its proposed pipeline and processing plant. After visiting the village, working with Cairo-based video collective Mosireen and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, we commissioned a short video telling the inspiring story of their resistance that you can watch here.
In 2003 we published a report called Degrees of Capture that examined the extent of oil company money and influence in UK universities. Ten years later and the subject seems more relevant than ever. Working with People & Planet, we’re updating the report for Autumn, and we’re appealing for higher education students and staff to help us crowd-source the information. You can read about what sort of info we’re looking for here, and we’ve also written a blog on what it’s all about here. The deadline for submitting info is the end of July.
Next Shake! course in Tottenham in August
Shake! is a FREE 5-day course for 16-25 year-olds that provides interactive workshops, stimulating dialogue & skill-shares with artists/activists/educators on themes of arts, race, media and power. The next course will be taking place in August at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham. The deadline for applications is this coming Monday. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people, so please share it with anyone you know who might be interested. More on how to apply here. Farzana Khan recently blogged reflecting on her first nine months in Platform coordinating the Shake! programme.
The British government is creating more demand for gas – a policy that supports repressive regimes, locks us into a future of climate crisis, and pushes more people into fuel poverty. This August 16th-20th, we will be joining the Reclaim the Power camp at West Burton power station in Nottinghamshire, taking action against the dash for gas. We will be co-running a workshop on working with communities on the fossil fuel frontline. We hope you will join us! Here are three reasons why.
Europe’s Keystone XL? The Planned Mega-pipeline
Behind the closed doors of company boardrooms and government offices a mega-pipeline is being planned and promoted. This huge piece of infrastructure, including the TANAP and TAP pipelines, would carry gas over 4,000 kilometres from the Caspian Sea to central Europe, and in the process would lock Europe into gas dependency for at least the next 35 years. You can read a short briefing on the proposed pipeline here.
Becoming a Platform ‘Sustainer’
Thank you to all our friends and supporters who came to our Conversations with Platform event- we were so inspired hearing your stories and experiences of Platform. One phrase that stayed with us is:
Platform surprises me by the depth of research. It’s clear. It’s aesthetically put together. Imaginative, and human-made.
Building on this event, we’re aiming to create a community of “Platform Sustainers” who will give a regular amount to Platform and become part of a committed network of people who actively support our work.