Platform Newsletter December 2011

16 December 2011

Dear All,

Wishing you seasonal greetings and a good break over the new year. This is the last mail you’ll be getting from us in 2011. There’s been a final flurry of activity from us to update you on, including some developments on the BP-Tate campaign, a new report on investor uncertainty on the tar sands, a preview clip of the Tate a tate audio tour and Platform looking to hire an Energy Policy Campaigner. More details below.

Tate to make BP decision “quite soon”

In the space of a few short weeks, we released ‘Not if but when: Culture Beyond Oil‘, and presented to Tate-head Nick Serota at the Tate members AGM more than 8,000 signatures on an open letter a calling on Tate to drop BP sponsorship. Serota announced that the decsion on renewing the sponsorship was going to be made by Tate trustees “quite soon” and the story got picked up in the Guardian.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this happen by signing the letter. This is a critical time to keep pressure up by keeping the debate visible and alive, and we’re hoping that people can help fuel that by sharing our new arts publication, ‘Not if but when: Culture Beyond Oil’ through mailing lists, twitter, blogs, reviews and facebook.

You can browse ‘Not if but when: Culture Beyond Oil’ online here, and you can also buy hard copies (complete with unique Deepwater Horizon oily motif) from the Live Art Development Agency online bookshop Unbound.

Thank you to everyone who came down for the packed-out launch event. We were very touched by the level of support. You can read an account of the launch event from oil-spill artist Ruppe Koselleck here, see some photos of it here and you can read Mel Evans on the Greenpeace UK blog about going to the Tate Members AGM here.

Culture Beyond Oil Launch at the Free Word Centre
The Culture Beyond Oil launch at the Free Word Centre
Getting to Market – Emerging Investor Risks in the Tar Sands

This week we released a new report in conjunction with Greenpeace UK and Oil Change International . The tar sands industry plans to increase production by 138% from todays level in the next fifteen years. But the report shows that this growth in the extraction from Alberta is being put at risk by the inability of producers to get the resources, dug or steamed from beneath the forests, out to the world markets. With the Canadian province entirely land locked, and the market for oil products in the US Mid-West becoming saturated, projects in Alberta will increasingly depend on being able to get tar sands derived crudes out to the oceans of the world.

Read the report, and James Marriott’s blog about it here.

Platform is hiring – Energy Policy Campaigner

Do you want to shift UK policy away from supporting destructive oil and gas projects? Platform’s Carbon Web project aims to undermine the links between UK oil companies and those who support them, such as government departments, investors and cultural institutions. As Energy Policy Campaigner, you will play a central role in delivering the Carbon Web programme. You will be responsible for driving multiple campaigns that demand corporate and government accountability. Working with a dynamic team of six campaigners, your task will be to challenge the oil companies who are shaping UK policy and to campaign for greater democratic control over government decision-making.

You can download the full job description here and the deadline for applicants is Monday 23rd of January.

Tate a Tate Audio Tour snippet online now

We are excited to be launching the Tate a Tate audio tour in Winter 2012. There’s a holding page online now where you can here a preview snippet here.

Platform in the Media

Eni misled shareholders over gas flaring in Nigeria – Pambazuka News, 16 November 2011

Analysis: Niger Delta still unstable despite amnesty – IRIN, 25 November 2011

Tate trustee reignites BP row ahead of Turner Prize – Independent,  28 November 2011

Royal Bank of Scotland cancels climate change campaign sponsorship – Guardian, 28 November 2011

Discussion on oil sponsorship of the arts – The Wright Stuff, Channel 5, 29 November 2011 (14 mins 38 secs in)

Artist attempts takeover of BP with sales of ‘oil spill art’ – The Ecologist, 1 December 2011

Oil spills and violence plague Shell operations in Nigeria – Anchorage Daily News, 5 December 2011

Tate may not renew BP sponsorship deal after environmental protests – Guardian, 13 December 2011

Will London 2012 sponsors BP, Dow, EDF and Rio Tinto tarnish the Olympic brand? – The Ecologist, 14 December 2011


Our new report co-published with Greenpeace UK and Oil Chnage International

Latest on Twitter



@Pete_The_Temp: Oil, art and occupation – more bloggage and images up @OccupyLSX @PlatformLondon @RisingTide_UK @FreeWordCentre

TpsRapport: @liberatetate @platformlondon what a publication…informative, creative and well-executed. Similar excisions can be mounted at UC Berkeley

PlatformLondon: Critique from us about BP Olympic sponsorship in this article in the Ecologist

PlatformLondon: [email protected] expands on a thoughtful blog post about the debate provoked by Culture Beyond Oil

PlatformLondon: Alice Oswald: Why I pulled out of the TS Eliot poetry prize via @guardian


Latest Blog Entries



Platform is hiring – Energy Policy Campaigner

BP Portrait Award exhibitor speaks about BP

Getting to Market – new report by Platform, Oil Change Int. and Greenpeace UK highlights investor risks in the tar sands

California protests against Chevron’s tax grab

Oil Spill Art – Ruppe Koselleck on the Culture Beyond Oil launch

Tate Director Nicholas Serota says decision on BP-Tate sponsorship to be made soon



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Ruppe Koselleck inscribes Culture Beyond Oil with Deepwater Horizon Oil. Photo credit: Jeff Blackler