Platform Newsletter July 2012

4 July 2012

Dear All,

Welcome to the July issue of the Platform newsletter. We’re unveiling an exciting new research tool on Shell’s activities in the Niger Delta, inviting you to an art development course over Summer, and we’ve been dipping our toe into the politics of Premier League football. And did we mention that we have a brand new website?

New timeline of oil and conflict in Nigeria

As part of an ongoing investigation into the Western companies and governments involved in Nigeria’s oil conflict, Platform has launched an online timeline which maps out the leaked US embassy cables on oil conflict in the Niger Delta. You can view the timeline here and read more about the process on our blog.

The timeline has received plenty of attention and analysis so far. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in their review said: “It will however be interesting to see if Platform’s latest timeline will spark new interest in the issue and lead to more calls for greater accountability by Western governments in the region.”

Expect to see further updates and briefings using the material in the timeline as our investigation continues…


The Live Art Development Agency’s is coordinating DIY 9 – a series of commissions that allow live artists to conceive and run unusual training and professional development projects for other artists.

As part of this season, we’ve commissioned Nicole Garneau to run Art-Oil-Numbers-Bodies-Love – a 3-day intensive workshop in which participants will be encouraged to try different strategies for producing small solo and collaborative live art gestures or mini-performances on the subject of oil economies and oil sponsorship of art and culture. It will run from the 9th to the 12th of August, and the deadline for applicants is this Monday, the 9th of July. All the info can be found here.

Blowing the whistle on Sunderland AFC’s new sponsor

Last week, Sunderland AFC announced in a blaze of publicity that it was launching a pioneering sponsorship partnership with Invest In Africa. The Sunderland Manager said that the partnership would “promote and enhance growth and development on the African continent.” But although Invest in Africa, was advertised as a partnership. it was funded by one organisation alone, Tullow Oil. We previously released research on Tullow’s activities in countries like DRC and Ghana, so we pointed out some of the hypocrisy in Invest In Africa’s rhetoric in blogs here and here. And the story got picked up in the Independent and the Daily Mail, as well as being enthusiastically shared by Newcastle supporters.

Shake! gets more Arts Council backing

We are delighted that Arts Council England have renewed their support for our dynamic youth project Shake! Young Voices in Arts, Media, Race & Power. ACE and London Development Agency funded the pilot and continuity work at Stephen Lawrence Centre in 2010/11. After this intense and inspiring experiment, everyone realised the potential and no-one wanted to stop. So the young people and the lead artists got together and designed a 3-year programme for Shake! bringing in a second project partner Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Tottenham. ACE’s funding goes towards the first two years, and we are still waiting to hear from a second big funder. The project will be launched in October.

Watch the inspiring video from the first Shake! here.

Upcoming speaking events for The Oil Road

This Saturday, 7th of July in London you can hear Mika Minio Paluello and and James Marriott speak on their forthcoming book The Oil Road – A Journey From the Caspian to the City at the Marxism 2012 Festival at 7pm. They will also be giving a workshop on the book at the Peace news Summer Camp at the end of July.

How you can help?

To help fund Platform’s work please donate here. If you can, a regular, monthly donation is especially useful as it helps us to plan our future work with confidence. If you’d like to chat about the work we do or discuss how you’d prefer your donation to be spent, we’d be happy to talk to talk to you. You can contact any of our team on +44 (0)20 7403 3738 or email Tanya Hawkes at [email protected]. Thank you for your support and taking an interest in Platform’s work- we really appreciate it.