Posts Tagged ‘BP’

BP and Shell agree to give up their tax concessions

April 2, 2015

In a surprise joint announcement to Russia Today, BP and Shell agree to give up their tax concessions.

Oil exploration has to be on the way out, says Shell.


Climate change.

We do not want to be part of, bad for our image.

BP do not see jobs in oil.

Tough for those in oil, but who guarantees jobs for life?

Shell agree to shut down Arctic drilling.

It is in the interests of both companies to give away their tax concessions, as who wants a revolution?

Before you get over-excited, note the date of broadcast.

It was broadcast yesterday, 1 April 2015.

Parts Per Million performance in Tate Britain

November 23, 2013

Should a prestigious art gallery take and launder dirty money?

Parts per Million performance at Tate Britain

Parts per Million performance at Tate Britain

Fifty veiled figures dressed in black today carried out a performance art installation entitled ‘Parts Per Million’

Fifty veiled figures dressed in black today carried out a performance art installation entitled ‘Parts Per Million’

When is a House Warming Party more like a Global Warming Party? When you are Tate and you promote BP — Liberate Tate

This month we have seen the worst typhoon ever recorded hit the Philippines, several thousand dead. It was followed by a large number of tornadoes in the US, which caused extensive damage. A few days ago, six month’s rain was dumped on Sardinia within a couple of hours, causing widespread flooding.

Thursday, environmentalists walked out of the UN Climate Talks in Poland in protest at the failure to make progress and the influence on the talks of Big Coal, Big Oil.

Today, fifty veiled figures dressed in black carried out a performance art installation entitled ‘Parts Per Million’ throughout a series of rooms in the ‘BP Walk Through British Art’ at Tate Britain during the art gallery’s official re-opening. The piece critiqued the role that Tate is playing in exacerbating climate change by bolstering the public perception of BP through its long-standing sponsorship relationship.

The art at Tate Britain was reordered chronologically this year. The Liberate Tate performance began in the ’1840′ room, when the industrial revolution started to significantly impact emission levels, to the present day room with contemporary art created as carbon dioxide levels reached an all-time high of 400 parts per million (ppm). Leading climate scientists consider 350 ppm to be what must be returned to in this century for earth to be safe for human life for generations to come. In each room the Liberate Tate performers arranged themselves in a different configuration and counted aloud en masse the increase in atmospheric carbon ppm during that time period.

‘Parts Per Million’ is the tenth performance at Tate by Liberate Tate: a group that has become internationally renowned for artworks aimed at ending the relationship of Tate and other cultural institutions with oil companies.

One of the performers, Fiona Edwards said:

Any celebration of British art that prominently bears the BP logo is also endorsing that company’s business model which explicitly involves the destruction of a safe, liveable climate. Tate Britain celebrates with a ‘House Warming Party’, but the presence of BP, one of the companies data shows is most responsible for climate change due to its carbon emissions, makes it more of a ‘Global Warming Party’.

The national collection of British art housed at Tate Britain — art owned by the public — was re-branded the ‘BP Walk through British Art’ in May: in the very week it was announced carbon dioxide levels had reached 400 ppm. A report published earlier this week estimated that BP was responsible for 2.5% of global historic emissions.

Terri Fletcher of Liberate Tate said:

Tate’s vision statement says that it will ‘demonstrate leadership in response to climate change’. Yet oil companies like BP are actively looking for ways to expand their markets and find new reserves at a time when the world needs to be dramatically reducing the amount of fossil fuels that are being burnt. By actively promoting BP, Tate is positioning itself on the side of the fossil fuel companies that are actually creating dangerous climate change.

There is growing concern from artists, Tate members and visitors that Tate is providing support to a corporation creating climate chaos and forcing climate-conscious gallery visitors into an uncomfortable position if they want to enjoy art at Tate (the mission of the art museum is to promote public enjoyment of art). Last year Tate said in a reply to a freedom of information request that it had received more representations raising concerns about BP’s sponsorship than any other issue since the oil company became linked to the gallery in 1990.

The ‘BP Walk through British Art’ is just one element of oil company branding at Tate. There are presently 33 BP logos at Tate Britain and in recent months this number has gone up to 42. Evening Standard art critic Brian Sewell asked: “I wonder if BP realises how sick of its initials some of us are? Not only is there now a BP Walk, but there are BP Displays of Turner, Blake and Moore, and BP Spotlights too. Are we soon to buy BP sandwiches in the BP café, drink BP water from the BP waterspout, and dry our hands on BP paper in the BP loo?”

Since 1990, when BP first attached itself to Tate and its collection, much has changed: the scientific evidence of climate change due to burning hydrocarbons and the negative social and environmental impacts of oil companies, BP in particular, is now clear and far more widely known amongst the public, including art lovers.

Tate has placed BP sponsorship “under review”. BP has dominated the Tate Members Annual General Meeting (AGM) for years.

In 2012 Tate Director Sir Nicholas Serota promised Tate members ethical alternatives would be explored so that Tate trustees had a choice not to continue BP sponsorship. A progress report is due at the 2013 AGM on 6 December.

Lord Browne, chair of Tate’s Board of Trustees, is former head of BP, an adviser to the government, a key proponent of fracking and directly involved with the company that was fracking in Balcombe.

Liberate Tate is an art collective exploring the role of creative intervention in social change dedicated to taking creative disobedience against Tate until it drops its oil company funding.

Previous performance art at the Tate has included:

  • ‘The Gift’: a 16.5 metre, 1.5 tonne wind turbine blade installed in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in an unofficial performance involving over 100 members of Liberate Tate (July 2012).
  • Human Cost’: a performance in Tate Britain on the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion (April 2011) when a naked member of the group had an oil-like substance poured over them on the floor in an exhibition that was part of ‘BP British Art Displays’.
  • ‘Dead in the water’: a contribution to Tate Modern 10th Birthday celebrations (May 2010) by hanging dead fish and birds from giant black helium balloons in the Turbine Hall.
  • ‘License to spill’: an oil spill at the Tate Summer Party ‘celebrating 20 years of BP support’ (June 2010).

Edited version of longer article published on Medium.

Human Cost – Tate Britain Performance, charcoal and sunflower oil

April 20, 2011
Tate Britain - oil performance art

Tate Britain - oil performance art

BP Oil Sculpture - Tate

BP Oil Sculpture - Tate

Human Cost, Tate Britain Performance (87 minutes), charcoal and sunflower oil 20 May 2011 — First anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Artists from art activist group Liberate Tate staged a performance by pouring an oil like substance over a naked man at the Tate Britain museum on the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

On the same day, 166 people who work in the arts published a letter in the Guardian calling on Tate to end its sponsorship relationship with BP. “In the year since its catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has massively ramped up its investment in controversial tar sands extraction in Canada, has been shown to have been a key backer of the Mubarak regime in Egypt, and has attempted to commence drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. While BP continues to jeopardise ecosystems communities and the climate by the reckless pursuit of “frontier” oil, cultural institutions like Tate damage their reputation by continuing to be associated with such a destructive corporation.

The massive cuts to public arts funding in the UK have left hundreds of culturally important arts organisations in a position of great financial vulnerability, which means that the debate about the appropriateness of particular potential corporate sponsors like BP and Shell is more relevant than ever. As people working in the arts, we believe that corporate sponsorship does not exist in an ethical vacuum. In light of the negative social and ecological impacts of BP around the world, we urge Tate to demonstrate its commitment to a sustainable future by ending its sponsorship relationship with BP.”

Email : ‘End oil-sponsorship of the arts’ on Facebook @liberatetate on twitter

Produced by “You and I Films

Human Cost – a personal account
Tate should end its relationship with BP
Climate Rush activists protest at Tate Britain over BP sponsorship
The Great BP-Sponsored Tate Modern Sleep In
No Tarsands action at the BP AGM
– “5 Million Barrels of Oil Does Not Disappear”: Author, Activist Antonia Juhasz on the BP Spill, One Year Later
BP’s criminal negligence exposed
BP Imposter Crashes Oil Spill Summit

Climate Rush activists protest at Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

April 20, 2011
Climate Rush activists protest Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

Climate Rush activists protest Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

Climate Rush Tate Britain

Climate Rush Tate Britain

Today (20 April 2011) Climate Rush activists demonstrated outside the Tate Britain, which is sponsored by BP, to mourn those that lost lives, as well as environmental damage resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster which began on this day last year.

Climate Rush’s Unfair Fare Dodge
Human Cost – Tate Britain Performance, charcoal and sunflower oil
The Great BP-Sponsored Tate Modern Sleep In
No Tarsands action at the BP AGM
– “5 Million Barrels of Oil Does Not Disappear”: Author, Activist Antonia Juhasz on the BP Spill, One Year Later
BP’s criminal negligence exposed
BP Imposter Crashes Oil Spill Summit

BP Imposter Crashes Oil Spill Summit

April 20, 2011

New Orleans, LA. – Attendees of the “Gulf Coast Leadership Summit” received a pleasant surprise this morning upon hearing a representative from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announce a ban on toxic dispersants — as well as a new free health care plan for spill and cleanup victims. Even more surprising: a BP co-presenter expressed regret for his company’s past actions, and said the oil giant would foot the bill for the new health care plan.

But the news was too good to be true. Surprise turned to confusion when an irate BP representative entered the room and interrupted the press conference. Comedy ensued as the two reps pointed fingers at each other, each claiming to be the real BP employee. Members of the press, confused, attempted to discover who was real and who wasn’t.

The answer was: except for the audience, everyone was a fake. The impostors Dr. Dean Winkeldom and Steve Wistwil, both Gulf Coast residents, collaborated with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an organization whose goal is to create sustainable communities free from industrial pollution. The organization decided to create a hoax to publicize what should be happening in response to the emerging health crisis. It was a last resort, since straightforward approaches were not working.

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade action was supported by the Yes Lab, a project of The Yes Men that helps activist groups carry out media-getting creative actions on their own. Four years ago in New Orleans, The Yes Men impersonated an official from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to announce, among other things, that HUD would re-open public housing and make oil companies pay up for wetlands destruction.

BP Imposter Addresses Oil Spill Summit
GE Returns Billions to Public… NOT
– “5 Million Barrels of Oil Does Not Disappear”: Author, Activist Antonia Juhasz on the BP Spill, One Year Later
BP’s criminal negligence exposed
The Great BP-Sponsored Tate Modern Sleep In
No Tarsands action at the BP AGM
Power Shift 2011 Flashmob Shuts Down BP
Climate Rush activists protest at Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

The Great BP-Sponsored Tate Modern Sleep In

April 19, 2011

Protesters angry at BP’s failures over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill descend on Tate Modern on Sunday in protest at the gallery’s links with the beleaguered oil giant.

Next Wednesday will see the anniversary of the Gulf spill, and direct action groups London Rising Tide and Art Not Oil are planning a flashmob at Tate Modern to commemorate the disaster.

The group is using Facebook and Twitter to mobilise followers to attend the highly visual protest. Hundreds of people took part in a ‘BP-sponsored sleep-in’ among the art works and visitors of the gallery.

At 2:15PM exactly the participants spontaneously broke from the crowds to don BP branding and fall asleep on the gallery floor.

The protest was to remind Tate members and visitors that the gallery is sponsored by BP, and express a wider concern that sponsorship of the arts helps to distract public attention from the environmental damage the oil
company causes, including the Gulf spill.

The event was aimed at damaging BP’s brand, and comes as the company has mounted a major PR campaign in an effort to deflect criticism around the anniversary of the oil spill. At its annual general meeting, the
company faced an angry coalition of shareholders, campaigners and residents from the Gulf of Mexico and the Canadian tar sands.

Tony Cottee of Rising Tide said: “Sponsorship of galleries such as Tate is one of the most important ways BP tries to buy the public’s acceptance and make people forget about disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico spill. We are here to make sure they don’t get away with it, and to warn Tate that their own reputation is at risk through their association with such a damaged and damaging company.”

He continued: “It’s clear that BP has learnt nothing over the last year. The time has now come for Tate to say, ‘enough is enough’, and break off their relationship with BP once and for all.”

The protest is part of a week of direct action against BP-sponsored cultural institutions, coordinated by groups including London Rising Tide, Art Not Oil, London Climate Camp, Climate Rush and Liberate Tate.

Produced by You and I Films.

Top story What a Disaster (Tuesday 19 April 2011).

No Tarsands action at the BP AGM
Power Shift 2011 Flashmob Shuts Down BP

Power Shift 2011 Flashmob Shuts Down BP

April 18, 2011

Hundreds of Power Shift 2011 flash mob shuts down a BP gas station with people power.

No Tarsands action at the BP AGM
Power Shift 2011 Flashmob Shuts Down BP: ‘Don’t Forget The BP Oil Disaster!’

No Tarsands action at the BP AGM

April 16, 2011

The only way we can have accountability is if shareholders hold the company in which they own shares to account. If they are locked out because they have an opposing view, there can be no accountability.

That the security thugs knew who these people were on entry and then had them carefully watched, suggests to me the group has been heavily infiltrated.

I recall several years ago attending a BAA AGM. I was literally talking to the media from dawn to dusk. We even managed to have a reasonable sized demonstration outside which we organised by word of mouth (and that was before the days of social media) and had politicians on the platform.

I even managed to speak at the AGM. The response I got from the Chairman was: Sir, you appear to be challenging the board. Actually I think the word phrase was threatening the board. Well yes, that was exactly what I was doing. I then had the microphone snatched out of my hand. I was not though ejected.

Surprisingly, after the AGM, I was able to have a very open and frank discussion with the chief executive.

Spilling the News
Emails expose BP’s attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill

‘Crude’ Oil Painting Protest

September 15, 2010

“Unless we recognise that climate change is a major interest for the public we will forfeit our respect in relation to that public.” — Serota

Oil Painting Protest over BP sponsorship in Tate Modern Turbine Hall
Liberate Tate calls for footprint of art museum to be free from Big Oil.

Tuesday (14 September) art activists from Liberate Tate staged a guerrilla art intervention in Tate Modern, covering the floor of the iconic Turbine Hall with dozens of litres of oil paint in protest at the museum taking sponsorship from BP.

The flash mob-style event was staged a day before a Tate Board of Trustees meeting. Liberate Tate are part of a growing public movement calling on Tate’s governing body to end its sponsorship agreement with the oil company. Tate’s Board of Trustees has decided to review the BP corporate sponsorship.

At 5pm, around 50 figures dressed in black entered the gallery each carrying a BP-branded oil paint tube. In a circle they placed the paint tubes on the floor and each stamped on one, spraying out dozens of litres of paint in a huge burst across the floor. The installation art work, ‘Crude’, was then signed ‘Liberate Tate’ and offered to Tate for its collection.

Blake Williams, a participant in the performance, said: “Ten years ago tobacco companies were seen as respectable partners for public institutions. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has brought home to an even wider public that the impact of big oil companies like BP on the environment and the global climate makes them equally unethical for an art museum, especially one that purports to demonstrate leadership in response to climate change.”

Tate’s latest annual report (2009/10), released this month, claims “sustainability is a prime consideration throughout Tate’s work”. Tate reduced its energy use and overall carbon emissions last year and makes much of its partnership with the Carbon Trust and that it was a founding signatory to the national 10:10 campaign, launched at Tate Modern, aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 10% in 2010.

Liberate Tate said: “Tate has so far chosen to take a very narrow view of its footprint in relation to climate change and to not yet take into account its formal relationship with Big Oil. At a time when arts institutions wish to demonstrate how central the arts are in bringing social benefits to all and thus deserving of strong public funding, the museum must accept responsibility for its full impact in society.”

“Tate has a sponsor in BP that is engaged in socially and ecologically destructive activities. This is incompatible with Tate’s ethical guidelines, its stated vision in regard to sustainability and climate change, and for maintaining Tate’s reputation. In addition, its mission is undermined if visitors to Tate galleries cannot enjoy great art without the museum making them complicit in creating climate chaos. We call on the governing body to recognise this and end Tate’s relationship with BP.”

Earlier this year Liberate Tate issued an open invitation for artists, art lovers and other concerned members of the public to act to ensure that Tate ends its oil sponsorship by the end of 2011 ahead of Tate Modern’s expansion into its cleaned out underground oil tanks.

“You don’t abandon your friends because they have a temporary difficulty.” – Nicholas Serota, Tate Director

An oil spill is one thing. Destruction of entire ecosystems, massive human rights abuses and millions of deaths from climate change is another thing altogether. BP’s ‘difficulty’ is not temporary; it is fundamental. BP is a climate criminal – pushing our civilisation to the brink of destruction in pursuit of profit. Climate Change kills hundreds of thousands of people a year and will kill many more unless we act immediately and radically to stop it.

BP and the Tate should not be friends. It is long past time for the Tate to abandon BP and renounce its complicity in their crimes.

Also see

Instant Oil spill

Oily Gaga

Hands Across The Sands

August 13, 2010

A line has been drawn in the sand. No offshore drilling, no dirty oil. Yes to clean energy.

Also see

Hands Across The Sands – youtube

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