PLATFORM newsletter August 2011
2 August 2011
Welcome to the recently revamped PLATFORM newsletter. This month, we have a new report on Iraqi oil contracts, an announcement of the artists that we are working with on the Alternative Tate audio tour, events coming up in Autumn and a response to the Times’ coverage of the situation in the Niger Delta.
Leaked contracts and BP’s Iraqi backroom deals
During the second half of 2009, Iraq held two auctions of its largest oilfields, awarding them to multinational companies such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil. The Iraqi government billed the auctions as among the world’s most transparent contracting processes, but the new report from PLATFORM tells a different story. Written by Fuel on the Fire author Greg Muttitt, the briefing From Glass Box to Smoke Filled Room reveals what subsequently happened behind closed doors to make the contracts much more attractive to the multinational companies, at the expense of the Iraqi people.
Download the report and leaked contract here.
Britain on Trial: Shake! & Leeds Young Authors Leeds, Oct 29th, 10.30am – 9pm
Shake!, LYA and researchers from Leeds University’s MA Activism & Social Change are running a day of participatory workshops and an evening gig on youth, racism, and power timed with the opening of the re-trial for justice for Stephen Lawrence. An unmissable chance to hear it as it is; watch this space for more details. This event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.
In other related news, Rotimi Skyers and Nuha Baruti from SHAKE! presented a beautifully designed poster of Rotimi’s poem Hey Stevie to Doreen Lawrence at the Stephen Lawrence Centre. There’s a limited number of prints of this poem that are being sold for £20 to support the project. More info on the SHAKE blog here.
We’re delighted to announce the artists that we are working with on the ‘alternative’ Tate Audio tour in response to BP sponsorship that we commissioned along with Liberate Tate and Art Not Oil. During the commissioning process, the project grew to encompass not one but three sound works, enocmpassing Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the riverboat between the two institutions.
The artists that will be working on the project are:
We’re really greatful to all our friends and supporters who gave as part of our crowdfunding drive in order to make this project happen. More info on the PLATFORM blog here.
You might also want to read Jane Trowell from PLATFORM’s account of censorship at the Shell-sponsored South Bank Centre as part of the London Literature festival, and an excellent piece on arts cuts and oil sponsorship on the Huffington Post. And if you haven’t seen it already, check out the video of the Reverend Billy exorcising the evil spirit of BP out of Tate Turbine Hall.
Sign up for the Free University of Liverpool
PLATFORM and Live Art Development Agency are supporting the University’s artist/activists action workshops over two weekends in the second half of September, as part of this year’s DIY 8. As they say “Join us in the struggle to make critical education accessible to anyone who wants it. Together we will decide what needs to be learnt and taught. Together we will teach and learn it.”
Go here for more information and to sign up
What Murdoch doesn’t want you to know…
In related news, the Ken Saro-Wiwa living memorial sculpture was installed in a new home at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre over the Summer. You can read Jane Trowell blogging about the launch day here, and watch a moving video of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s widow, Maria Saro-Wiwa speaking at the event.
Coming soon – Energy Security as a ‘toxic frame’?
Hold the date! On Friday 4th of November, we are co-hosting a day long seminar with Public Information Research Centre in Machynlleth, Wales, on the problematic nature of ‘energy security’ as a toxic frame for progressives to be using. More information to follow, but hold on to the date if you are interested. The seminar will also be accompanied by a report on the same subject. This event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.