Culture Not Oil targets the British Museum
In addition to the action against RBS this morning five activists from Culture Beyond Oil targeted the British Museum to protest against the fact its complicity with oil giant, BP.
The activists beautifully and delicately poured oil around the museum’s iconic Easter Island sculptures (carefully avoiding spilling any *on* the sculptures) in a symbolic gesture that highlights just how quickly seemingly advanced cultures can rapidly collapse through exploitation of the natural environment.
Emily James, the Director of the crowd-funded film about the environmental direct action movement, Just Do It, was there to capture the action.
This link and the effects it has on the way oil and corporate interests are perceived in society is highlighted in a recent report by Platform. Called ‘Licence to Spill’ the report reveals the way in which oil companies use cultural sponsorship to create a “social license to operate” by providing “ﬁnancial support that … creates a perception of making a positive contribution to our society”.
Given the sheer scale of the ongoing catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, not to mention the oil industries’ legacy and likely future instances of human rights abuses and environmental destruction it’s right to call out oil companies for their pernicious for their attempts to provide a sanitised gloss to what they do.
Actions like these will hopefully give public bodies and institutions the impetus to act in the public good and ditch “cultural sponsorship” from the destroyers of civilisation.