In April last year, BP’s risky business in the Gulf of Mexico caused
America’s largest ever environmental disaster, and sparked controversy
about the role of one of the UK’s most iconic companies in our society.
Plunged into a PR nightmare, BP has made a huge effort to reclaim its
image, and reassure us all that it has learned its lessons and moved on.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Last December, BP made the hugely
controversial decision to start extracting high-polluting oil from the
Canadian Tar Sands. It is pressing ahead with drilling in the fragile
Arctic and deep-sea drilling in Russia. And, like every other year, BP is
destroying the lives and livelihoods of frontline communities around the
Now BP can’t have its customers, investors and elite backers thinking of
nasty things like that. So it’s been on a PR offensive in an effort to
repair its tarnished image. Sponsorship of galleries, museums and other
cultural spaces is one of the most important ways BP tries to protect its
reputation and buy our acceptance. By breaking off BP’s relationship with
our most prestigious cultural institutions, we strike a blow to BP’s
precious brand, topple BP’s powerful position in our society, and reclaim
our public spaces.
So, in the week between BP’s AGM on April 14th and the one year
anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on April 20th, we are calling
for actions and creative interventions to show the true nature of BP’s
damaging activities around the world, and to persuade our most prestigious
galleries and cultural spaces to liberate themselves from BP’s dirty
money. On the anniversary of the Gulf spill, let’s reveal the sticky black
stuff behind BP’s shiny green logo, and pile on the pressure to kick BP
out of our cultural spaces for good.
Keep your eyes peeled for fantastic interventions popping up at sponsored
institutions throughout the week, or better yet, plan your own... then
join us for a flashmob, ‘SPONSORED BY BP’ on Sunday 17th April, 2PM, at
Tate Modern. More details soon, so watch this space!
Groups taking part in the week of action include:
Join the Facebook event here:
And finally… BP sponsors the British Museum, Tate Modern, Tate Britain,
the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Opera House, the
National Theatre, the National Maritime Museum, the Almeida Theatre… and
is a lead sponsor (and ‘sustainability partner’, no less!) of the 2012
Olympics. Just so you know.