Check out our latest short video of Mel Evans talking about her forthcoming book, Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts.
The book explores the unsavoury relationship between Big Oil and many of the nation’s most venerated cultural institutions; how corporate sponsorship of the arts, (or ‘artwash’) serves to erase unsightly environmental destruction and obscures the strategies of oil company PR executives who rely on cultural philanthropy.
The story Mel tells in the video is just one among hundreds of examples of individuals and campaign groups taking action on the issue, and already hope is on the horizon: major institutions (such as the Southbank Centre) have already agreed to cut sponsorship, and tribunals are happening which are taking these relationships to task. Artists and employees are developing new methods of work which publicly confront the oil companies. Like the anti-tobacco campaign before it, this will be an important cultural and political turn for years to come.
The full version of the video can be found on Pluto’s Youtube channel.
Mel Evans is an artist and campaigner associated with Liberate Tate and Platform. As well as making unsanctioned performance works at Tate and writing on oil sponsorship of the arts, she creates theatre pieces in the City of London that examine culture, finance and Big Oil.
Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts is available to buy from Pluto Press here.