Platform Newsletter – August 2011

News 2 Aug 2011 Kevin

PLATFORM newsletter August 2011

2 August 2011

Dear All,

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.

Rotimi Skyers and Nuha Baruti from SHAKE! presenting Rotimi’s poem to Doreen Lawrence
Tate audio tour artists announced

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:

Ansuman Biswas (Tate Britain)
• Phil England and Jim Welton (Tate Modern)
Isa Suarez, Mark McGowan and Mae Martin (Tate riverboat)

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
“Where getting into debt for your education is outlawed and your dreams are not trodden on by the big, dirty boot of capitalism.”

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…
PLATFORM was dismayed at The Times’ unbalanced coverage of Shell Nigeria (11-12 July). In this blog post, Ben Amunwa sets the record straight and provides a glimpse of a forthcoming report and  campaign that kicks off this Autumn.

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.


PLATFORM in the press

Rev Billy exorcises the dark soul of BP – New Internationalist  20/07/11

BP ‘has gained stranglehold over Iraq’ after oilfield deal is rewritten – Guardian 31/07/11

Arts Council fund anti-Tate/BP protest art – Spoonfed 01/08/11

Oil workers in the Rumaila field in southern Iraq, site of BP’s controversial contract

From Twitter

TwitterFollow us @PlatformLondon


New report from @platformlondon & @fuelonthefire reveals shady BP backroom deals over Iraqi oil

Excited to be part of this: New sound art installation in Tate addressing BP-sponsorship announced via @platformlondon

BP’s destabilising exploitation of Iraq’s oil. Brilliant work by @PlatformLondon revealing how history repeats itself.

Great work from the great @platformlondon: BP ‘has gained stranglehold over Iraq’ after oilfield deal is rewritten

Some late #ff @PlatformLondon for challenging assumptions, nurturing provocative thought and action

DISGUSTING! PR pushes dirty, dangerous, horrific tar sands project as “ethical oil.” @PlatformLondon: Utterly nauseated




Latest Blog Entries

blogThe secret renegotiation of BP’s Iraqi oil contracts

Coming soon – the ‘Tate a Tate’ audio tour

Donors warn US university over artist’s climate change work

On not always labouring furiously

Shell sponsorship and censorship at Southbank Centre?

Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Living Memorial launched in Tottenham

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Reverend Billy exorcizing BP out of Tate Turbine Hall
Reverend Billy exorcizing the spirit of BP out of Tate Turbine Hall
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