Of Plastics and Brexit – the struggle against the new lords of oil & gas

On 16th January 2019 news was leaked through the German paper Handelsblatt of The Alliance to End Plastic Waste. A new industrial coalition that will invest $1billion over the next five years in a campaign to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the world. Here was a powerful body of major corporations determining to...

Iraq, BP and the British Museum – look upon these works and hang our heads in shame

I had read in advance the briefing that Culture Unstained had put out to accompany the planned action. The protest at the British Museum was to be against BP’s sponsorship of the exhibition ‘I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria’, a display of treasures from the land of Iraq. I read lines...

‘The Knowledge Quarter’ – resistance to capture and divestment from capital

In the Autumn I attended an utterly inspiring Shake! & Stuart Hall Foundation event – the launch of the Black Cultural Activism Map. It was held at the Platform theatre space in the Central Saint Martin’s art school – CSM – part of University of the Arts London. This new premises is a vast warehouse of...

Vive La Zad ! – in the midst of the tear gas, La Zad exists in our hearts

The police arrived at 03.00 am on the morning of Monday 9th April. The exact number is, of course, unclear but it is said that 2,500 officers in riot equipment, with crash helmets and visors, Perspex shields and plastic body armour were deployed. Two and a half thousand highly trained men appeared out of the...

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...

Breaking: The Struggle to Free the Bus: The Twists, the Turns and the Conspiracies 

BREAKING Guest Blog by Ken Henshaw, Social Action, Nigeria The extraordinary behind-the-scenes story of the Bus memorial seizure and the struggle to release it, on the day of the 3rd Hearing to release the memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 8. Show your support – follow and tweet @GreatOgoni, @Kenn_Henshaw, @S_DouglasCamp. Support the Movement...

SuAndi of National Black Arts Alliance on justice in arts funding

In November I participated in a seminar* on arts policy and heard writer, performance poet, and Freelance Cultural Director of National Black Arts Alliance, SuAndi give an arresting paper to an almost totally white audience of arts practitioners, funders, and policymakers. She generously agreed to it being published here.     “I have told this before Many times Too...

Picture This – artist Raoul Martinez on why oil sponsorship must end

Over the past week we’ve published chapter by chapter the text from our new report ‘Picture This’ against BP’s sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait Award. Below is the final chapter, ‘Picturing the Future’, brilliantly and calmly reasoned by artist Raoul Martinez. Raoul has been 3-times shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award and has...

‘Picture This’ report extract – BP’s ongoing Gulf Coast disaster & ‘artful dodging’

Last week we published a critical new report ‘Picture This – A Portrait of 25 years of BP Sponsorship‘, timed with the opening of the National Portrait Gallery London’s new ‘BP Portrait Award’ exhibition. In a series of blogs, we are featuring extracts from the report. Today’s blog shares devastating testimony and analysis from two...

Art Not Oil’s week of action on NPG’s ‘BP Portrait Award’

Have a look at the ‘Storify’ to see some of the actions, reactions and impacts that happened around the National Portrait Gallery’s opening of this year’s BP Portrait Award. The main events were… On Saturday – ‘Portraits in Oil‘ performance-intervention at the NPG by Art Not Oil Coalition On Wednesday (day  of the exhibition’s press...

‘Picture This’ extract – 25 years of BP Sponsorship, year by year

Today we focus on the section of our report that outlined BP’s track record 1989 – 2014, the period of BP’s sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait Award. Here’s the whole report.  We have pulled out 25 examples of BP’s worst environmental and human rights disasters and also evidence of dodgy and backroom deals...