BP may need the arts, but the arts do not need BP. If people in the arts, museum and theatre world stand up for what they believe in, we can end this destructive relationship and remove the filthy stain of oil sponsorship from our beloved cultural institutions.
Now is the summer of our discontent
During the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012 we, the Reclaim Shakespeare Company, orchestrated a campaign of sound and fury, signifying something. We invaded stages, performed short Shakespeare-inspired anti-BP playlets, and encouraged theatre-goers across the country to join us in tearing the BP logo from their programmes and presenting them back to the theatre as a sign of their displeasure. Since then we have also strutted the oil-tarnished stages of the British Museum and Tate Britain.
We now encourage others who feel strongly about this issue to engage in performances of their own, either inside or outside BP-sponsored events.
Click here to download a script you could use.
Get the latest news on the campaign here.
Do we protest too much?
Nay, sirrah! We are just one group amongst many who are determined to get BP and other oil companies out of the arts, culture and sport. Here are some other campaigns we love, who hath come together as the Art Not Oil Coalition:
Liberate Tate: Aiming to free art from the grips of the oil industry primarily focusing on Tate, the UK’s leading art museum, and its sponsorship deal with BP.
Shell Out Sounds: A group of singers, musicians and activists who see Shell’s sponsorship of the Southbank Centre as entirely unacceptable. They use melody, harmony, poetry and rhythm to move hearts and expose Shell’s greenwash, ringing out the end of the oil age and ringing in an age of justice.
Rising Tide UK: A network of small groups and individuals dedicated to taking local action and building a movement against climate change. Currently targeting Shell’s sponsorship of the arts.
Platform: Combining the transformatory power of art with the tangible goals of campaigning, the rigour of in-depth research with the vision to promote alternative futures. Including the wondrous ‘Tate à Tate’ audio tour.
UK Tar Sands Network: Creative campaigning in partnership with Indigenous communities affected by the Tar Sands oil developments in Canada.
BP White Swan: Guerilla ballet troupe who performed a pop-up and rather oily version of Swan lake at BP’s Summer Screen in Trafalgar Square.