Dozens of protesters, wearing orange and inexperienced flowing costumes to characterize the burning surroundings, gathered at the British Museum on Saturday whereas youth activists staged a separate demonstration at the Science Museum. Both occasions aimed to stress the establishments to sever ties with oil firms.
The theatrical activist group BP or not BP staged a protest at the British Museum in response to the oil company’s sponsorship of Nero: The Man Behind the Myth, the museum’s subsequent large exhibition, as a consequence of open on 27 May.
Three skilled violinists draped in inexperienced costumes carried out contained in the Great Court at the British Museum, alongside a “choir of fire” sporting orange and yellow outfits with headdresses of paper flames. The efficiency likened BP to Emperor Nero himself – “fiddling while the planet burns” – to attract consideration to these affected by wildfires world wide.
Vanessa Downie, one of many violinists, stated: “We always want to raise awareness about BP actively contributing to global warming with its huge appetite for oil and gas extraction.
“We want to point out the additional irony in BP sponsoring an exhibition about the dictator Nero, when the company itself has a long history of partnering with repressive regimes in countries where it operates.
“We see this as a powerful approach to winning raising awareness around BP’s destructive greed, and the increasingly urgent need for cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels.”
In 2016, BP introduced a five-year, £7.5m sponsorship of the humanities which started in 2018 and consists of the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). While longstanding offers with Tate and the Edinburgh worldwide competition weren’t renewed, and the RSC ended its sponsorship cope with BP two years early, different cultural establishments proceed to just accept money from oil firms.
According to the marketing campaign group, BP sponsorship offers lower than 1% of the British Museum’s annual earnings. These cultural offers are up for renewal this year, and for Danny, who helped organise the protest, the British Museum is making an “active choice” in upholding its sponsorship with BP.
He stated: “They’re choosing to stick with the sponsor, and they are actively making a choice to keep propping up a company that is incredibly complicit in the climate crisis.”
Also on Saturday, youth activists from UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) led a protest at the Science Museum, in response to a brand new local weather exhibition sponsored by Shell.
Izzy Warren, 17, from west London, who was attending the demonstration, stated: “In the past, drawing links between oil sponsorship and the impact of climate change has been hard. When you’ve got an exhibition on climate change and solutions being sponsored by an oil company, there is something very wrong with that, and I think that’s why this one has got a lot of attention.”
On Tuesday, the group launched a boycott of the brand new exhibition, Our Future Planet, after the museum ignored an open letter demanding the Science Museum drop its Shell sponsorship, backed by greater than 170 scientists and local weather organisations.
Shell has come beneath enormous stress from shareholders voting for carbon emission reductions, whereas the International Energy Agency has stated investments in new oil and fuel exploration want to finish if the world is to succeed in web zero by 2050.
Warren added: “I think it is a very cheap way for oil companies to have social licence in our museums to operate and make it seem like they are contributing more good. In reality, they are destroying our planet, and destroying people’s homes and people’s livelihoods.”
A spokesperson for the Science Museum stated: “We received a peaceful protest from UKSCN today. It took place without incident and visitors continued to have safe access to the inspiration of our museum and to the vaccination centre.”