To BP or Not BP

On Sunday I was on the People’s Climate March with Queer Bloc (pictures here) and earlier that day British Museum was targeted by activists from ‘BP or not BP’, the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement (DANCE), and the London Quakers for a performance called ‘Gross Negligence’. (from John Hoggett)

I’d heard of some of the anti-BP Tate protests via John who went to the last AGM which was ‘disrupted’ by them (quite right) and I love what the Reclaim Shakespeare Company and co. are doing with performances in the Tate and British Museum, such as this Viking one (there is a big Viking exhibition on at the moment). They’ve even got a whole longship into the British Museum, to give BP a ‘Viking Burial’ which it seems is irking the police since there was one unlawful arrest.

And this, a clever tactic of starting off as if it was a guided talk, bringing the paintings to life and revealing the treachery of Macbeth’s deal with BP. Out out damn logo indeed!

As an art lover I’ve never been comfortable with the oil sponsorship of galleries, exhibitions and museums. It is greenwashing, not a spell from Loki but an intentional strategy to make BP seem respectable. I hope artists and art-lovers take note of these campaigns, because I think British Museum and Tate should not take money from the people bent on bringing hell to earth, via pollution, destruction of habitat and more ominously, climate change.

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