Saturday, 27 February 2016

BP or Not BP

Hopefully, around about now, there has been a disturbance in Edinburgh. BP or not BP mounted an art-activism event at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery to challenge the sponsorship of the BP Portrait Award. I hope it was peaceful, and fun, and drew attentions to the problems caused by the support of the arts by big oil firms.

Since I am always banging on about the inherent contradiction between 'political theatre' and the bourgeois under-pinning of performance theory, and I have a great fondness for the writing of Carl Lavery, who connects absurdist theatre with a far more immediate environmental consciousness (Beckett is transformed from being existential angst to a more deliberate commentary on the devastation caused by nuclear power), art-activism ought to be right on my watch. 

While I am sitting in bed thinking about buying a new computer - doubtless made in a sweat-shop somewhere - some people are capable of acting on their beliefs. 

According to the BP or not BP website, the oil company do two things: act in complicity with various human rights violations and environmental damage, and give tiny amounts of cash (relatively speaking) to the arts, so they look good.

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