FREEZE-MOB AGAINST BP IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM
Defending the permafrost from Big Oil
Calling all ice warriors, frost defenders and spirits of the snow!
Join theatrical activists BP or not BP? in the British Museum to take part in a mass rebel performance to freeze out the museum’s cold-hearted sponsor, BP. The museum plans to start a new 5-year deal with the destructive oil giant next year. Not cool.
So join us and help to put that deal on ice. No performance experience required, everyone is welcome – please do send people this webpage, share on social media and invite your friends!
What to expect: We’ll transform the museum with people, movement and song to bring the precious permafrost to life inside the oil-sponsored space. There will be a role for everyone, which you’ll be given on the day.
Email us to let us know you’re interested, and we’ll send you exact timings and information on what to wear and bring: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The freeze-mob aims to be family-friendly and accessible to all – please let us know if you have any particular needs or questions.
This will be our 30th creative intervention at the British Museum – previous performances have included a 200-strong Shakespearean flashmob, a Viking horde, a giant sea monster, a ceremony for flood-threatened cities and a troupe of singing merfolk. See here for more details and films.
Why are we doing this?
BP’s latest outrageous move is to sponsor an exhibition of Scythian artefacts recovered from the Siberian permafrost. That’s the same permafrost that BP is helping to melt through its polluting and political lobbying, releasing locked-in greenhouse gases that are pushing us towards irreversible climate change. If the permafrost goes, so does any chance of keeping global temperature rises at 1.5 degrees.
To pile on extra hypocrisy, the future of Scythian archaeology is at risk as the melting permafrost threatens to destroy many unexcavated tombs. But any mention of the risk of climate change to Scythian artefacts is suspiciously absent from the (otherwise fascinating) exhibition. But what else would we expect when the sponsor is an oil company?
BP is sponsoring this exhibition in partnership with the Russian State Hermitage Museum, giving the company valuable lobbying and networking opportunities with British and Russian government officials. Russia is responsible for a third of BP’s global oil and gas output, primarily through its 20% stake in Russian state oil company Rosneft, making BP complicit in the corruption and pollution that is part of the oil business in Russia. BP is also pushing to end Western economic sanctions on Russia, which would make it easier to drill in the Arctic.
We know the British Museum can survive without BP – the company provides less than 0.5% of the museum’s income. Kicking fossil fuel companies out of our arts and culture is a vital step in loosening the grip of these destructive companies over our society, our politics and our public spaces. A better world is possible – but only if we reduce the power of the fossil fuel giants. So join us on December 9th and help put BP in the cooler.