For immediate release

Unauthorised festival to take over Tate Modern spaces during next weekend of climate talks

Contact: Mika Minio-Paluello / +44 7733466038

Full programme available on

  • Deadline Festival @Tate takes place exactly a year before Tate’s BP sponsorship deal expires
  • Full programme is now available online. Including poetry, video installations, Caryl Churchill play, artist panels, alternative audio-tour, ex-Tate curator talks and a ‘seedbombing’ session

This weekend, Platform London is curating an unauthorised arts festival inside Tate Modern.[1] Deadline Festival @Tate marks the need for global deadlines to come off fossil fuels as the COP21 climate talks take place in Paris, and the setting of a deadline for Tate. The gallery’s current sponsorship deal with BP runs out in one year’s time.

Festival curator Mika Minio-Paluello said: “As the climate talks take place in Paris, oil giants like BP are ramping up their PR strategy to paint themselves as part of the solution to climate crisis. BP’s cultural sponsorship is crucial to this strategy. By taking space in the BP-sponsored Tate for a conversation on art, climate, empire and oil, we are doing what a public gallery should be doing anyway – facilitating the conversation towards a culture beyond oil.”

Festival highlights include

  • Capital Culture Climate: with Doreen Massey (Emeritus Professor, Open University), Selina Nwulu (London Young Poet Laureate 2016) and Loraine Leeson (Artist, director of Director cSPACE)
  • Art & Politics – with Julie Ward MEP (Labour), Natalie Bennett (Green Party), Sonia Boyce (artist, Professor), Candy Udwin (sacked and recently reinstated National Gallery union organiser)
  • Tickets are now on sale, a short play by Caryl Churchill
  • Performance & Power: with Michael McMillan (playwright, artist, educator), Lucy Ellinson (actor, Grounded), and Feimatta Conteh (sustainability manager, Arcola theatre)
  • Naomi Klein’s climate justice film This Changes Everything
  • Unofficial Translation by Ivo Theatre – COP21 negotiations live translated into performance
  • An open invitation to seed-bomb the plant beds erected in Tate’s Turbine Hall as part of Abraham Cruzvillegas’s Empty Lot

Tate’s controversial sponsorship deal with BP runs from 2012-2016. A recent three-year freedom of information court battle forced Tate to reveal that historically BP’s sponsorship fees amounted to £150,000-£330,000 a year – under 0.5% of Tate’s annual budget.[2]

In September, over 300 artists and cultural organisations including London’s Royal Court Theatre signed a commitment to reject fossil fuel funding.[3]  In November, the Science Museum confirmed that Shell is being dropped as sponsor of its climate change exhibition.[4]

Tate director Nicholas Serota has publicly confirmed that Tate Trustees will be reconsidering BP sponsorship during 2016.

Anna Galkina of Platform added “We’re posing a mainstream cultural challenge to oil sponsorship of our arts. As politicians gather in Paris to discuss planetary deadlines for coming off fossil fuels, and London debates its own role, Tate risks being left behind.”


Contact: Festival Curator Mika Minio-Paluello [email protected] / +44 7733466038

[1] Deadline Festival @Tate is being curated by London-based arts & research organisation Platform, and organised by the Deadline Festival committee and Art not Oil coalition.

[3] See