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Victory at Leith Hill! Divest Fracking! Resisting sites of speculation

This piece was written before the news of the draconian jail sentences passed on those opposing fracking in Preston, Lancashire … but that bitter ruling does not destroy the reality that shortly before that decision we celebrated a Victory! The News of an Amazing Victory! We wrote of it as follows … The permission to...

#FromNopeToHope – Salon des Réfuseurs for our time

Heads up everybody interested in powerful political art and graphics. The exhibition From Nope To Hope – Art vs Arms, Oil and Injustice is running for an extra week, in Brixton Rec, London. Come and get inspired by the artwork of political artists, designers and activists who demanded their works were withdrawn from the Design...

The Invisible Machine – a gas pipeline in the Caucasus and a handshake in No10

On the evening of Thursday 26th April 2018, it was warm and sunny in London. President Ilham Aliyev strode down Downing Street and was met by Prime Minister Theresa May with smile and a handshake. They posed for the cameras on the red carpet outside No 10 and then retired inside. A short formal chat...

The slow dismantling the house of oil – The Gulbenkian Foundation divests

Quite unexpected comes remarkable news! Lucy Neal, a long-term part of the Platform family, e-mails out of the blue, forwarding an article from the Algarve Daily News, published on 1st February in southern Portugal. The headline reads: ‘Gulbenkian Foundation gets out of the oil business’ That truly is unexpected. Lucy had not foreseen this coming...

La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

We’re in the middle of the crowd. Standing some way back from the stage, watching transfixed and elated at the performance of Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp. Two trombones, two drummers, two marimbas, two electric guitars, two cellos and five other musicians blast out such a blissful riot of sound that our souls sail above...

BP funds homophobia: an open letter

BP has built a reputation for itself as a LGBTQ-friendly employer, with Pride floats, a Stonewall top employer badge, and recruitment events for LGBTQ students. But BP’s donations and deals also keep in office notoriously homophobic politicians, from US Congressman John Culberson to Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. We started this open letter to call on...

Fight BP’s Pinkwashing

A briefing for LGBTQ rights campaigners by No Pride In BP, Platform and People & Planet Download briefing as pdf Pinkwashing: (n.) a public relations tactic, involving an appeal to LGBT-friendliness, in order to offset or ‘wash’ over other questionable practices Is BP a queer-friendly company? “proud to be a business where you can be yourself”...

We took the stage for jailed Egyptian activists at British Museum’s BP-branded big lecture

Today, at the BP sponsored British Museum, we remembered political prisoners and friends jailed in Egypt. In particular, we remembered Alaa Abd El Fattah, Aya Hejazi, Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma, Yousef Shabaan, Mahmoud Shawkan, and Abdullah Al Fakhrani, who are amongst the tens of thousands of dissidents imprisoned by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s regime. Holding larger-than-life...

Egyptian political prisoners remembered in unsanctioned performance at British Museum’s ‘Sunken Cities’

24 November 2016 Unsanctioned vigil held for jailed human rights campaigners at ‘Curator’s Introduction to the BP Sponsored Exhibition Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds’   Exhibition displays objects from ancient sunken cities in the Nile Delta, where BP is now drilling for fossil fuels. Community opposition successfully halted BP’s gas plant plans – the North...

For Lucy Fairley, founder of Helix Arts and Crossings

My friend and Platform ally Lucy Fairley has died, aged 70. We’ve known her and her work for nearly 25 years and worked especially closely with her in the late 1990s. She founded Artists Agency in Sunderland in 1983, and in 1987 appointed Esther Salamon to join her initially as Placement Officer, then as in...

Strip away the carapace – the Ice Age, BP, and the British Museum

It pushes me quickly to tears. I’m kneeling on the cold stone floor of the Great Court, legs tucked beneath me, one foot crossed under the other. I’m listening to a rendition of A Requiem to Sinking Cities – an agit-performance in the heart of the British Museum. Silent figures hold up two banners, ‘#DropBP’...

Open letter: BP can’t buy our silence

Today’s Times has published an open letter from Mark Rylance, Naomi Klein, Nnimmo Bassey, Matthew Herbert, and 215 artists, actors, arts managers, musicians, frontline activists, campaigners, and scientists, arguing: We cannot afford another five years of BP-branded culture. Last Thursday BP announced the renewal of its flagship sponsorship programme. Its partners, this time: British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Royal...