From our excellent friends at BP or not BP?:
'Yesterday, we brought a dramatic musical protest into the British museum, to challenge the BP sponsorship of the new Nero exhibition. The most famous myth about Emperor Nero is that he “fiddled while Rome burned” - the perfect metaphor for BP’s response to the climate emergency. By sponsoring art and history while pushing to extract new oil and gas, BP is fiddling while the world burns, with help from the British Museum.
So we brought three professional violinists, dressed as the Emperor Nero but in the colours of the BP logo, to play in the museum’s Great Court while a “Choir of Fire” dressed in flame-coloured togas chanted a lament around them. We did it in the most COVID-safe way that we could, with masked performers in three groups of 6, socially distanced from staff and visitors, and all of us tested negative for COVID using lateral flow tests before the action. Check out this Facebook album of amazing photos, this write-up on our website, and this Observer article!
Straight after our rebel performance, we joined youth climate strikers, led by UKSCN London, outside the Science Museum in an inspiring protest against Shell sponsorship of the new climate exhibition. The youth strikers have launched a boycott of the Shell-sponsored exhibition which already has over 4,000 people signed up.
It would be amazing if you could help amplify these actions by:
- Sharing our tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts about the BP action
- Sharing our write-up of the action (including powerful quotes from people fighting wildfires in Siberia and Australia, and anti-BP pipeline activists in Italy)
- Sharing the Observer article (which covers both the BP and Shell actions).
- Signing up to the youth strikers’ boycott of the Shell exhibition
It’s been an extra challenge to pull off these actions safely during the pandemic, and we massively appreciate all your help and support in continuing to challenge the power of the fossil fuel industry and push for climate justice. Our movement has had huge success in kicking oil companies out of our cultural spaces over the last few years, which means that the British Museum and Science Museum are now looking pretty lonely in still having partnerships with oil giants. Let’s make this the year we throw big oil out of culture for good!
Yours in hope and power,
BP or not BP?'