|Tate Modern BP-sponsored Sleep-in: Report|
|BP Week of Action|
|Tuesday, 05 April 2011 23:08|
Sunday 17 April 2011, 2:15pm The Tate Modern, Southbank, London
This Sunday the Tate Modern became the site of a spontaneous BP-sponsored sleep in as around 100 people answered Rising Tide’s call for a flashmob at 2:15 pm within the iconic museum.
With watches synchronised and BP-branded sleeping gear at the ready, the participants found themselves falling as one under a sponsorship-induced stupor, on the floor of the Tate Modern. The flashmob provided an excellent way to catch the attention of the browsers in the gallery, and as the sleepers lay all about the turbine hall and first 3 floors, and the public stared, our cameras were there to catch their reactions.
See on YouTube
BP is a significant sponsor of the Tate Group, which includes the Tate Modern and Tate Britain. They use this sponsorship to represent themselves as a socially responsible company, despite the environmental atrocities that their work creates, and the social injustices they are committing internationally. By taking BP sponsorship, Tate allows itself to be lulled into a sleep where it ignores the faults of its sponsor while being pulled towards the nightmare of global climate chaos.
For a brief time, our supporters today also allowed themselves to come under this BP-sponsored sleeping sickness. Thankfully however exactly four minutes after they’d succumbed, the Tate Modern rang to the sounds of 10 well-placed Rising Tide alarm clocks to wake them from the spell. The sleepers were able to cast off the BP-branded bed clothes and sleeping masks and escape BP’s influence, and hopefully the Tate Group will be able to follow suit soon.
After the flashmob inside, the participants were invited outside to the main square between the museum and the Thames, where Rising Tide hosted a post-slumber party. With a banner strung between tripods, a sound system and even free muffins. As well as music we were able to provide a platform for speakers from the Indigenous Environmental Network – First Nations people directly affected by Tar Sands development in Canada – and Diane Wilson, a shrimp farmer from the Gulf of Mexico.
The sun generally shone, and the venue was perfect for engaging the constant stream of people enjoying the Southbank. As the representatives from BP-affected communities spoke our area was surrounded by a semi circle of onlookers. We handed out some 2000 fliers detailing why we were there, and got an overwhelmingly positive and friendly response from the people we talked to, many of which we hope will go on to take part in our email campaign to Tate to stop their sponsorship for good.
A sample of photos taken can be found at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mini_mouse/sets/72157626516241492/ (Thanks to Mini Mouse for the photos used on this page)
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