Unauthorised arts festival in Tate Modern during Paris climate talks 4-6th December #artcop21 #cop21

  • Deadline Festival @Tate takes place exactly a year before Tate’s BP sponsorship deal expires
  • Free programme of events includes poetry, video installations, Caryl Churchill play, artist panels, film screenings, theatre and a ‘seedbombing’ session

Platform London is curating an unauthorised arts festival inside Tate Modern on 4-6 December.[1] Deadline Festival @Tate marks the middle weekend of the COP21 UN climate talks in Paris and the start of Tate’s final year of BP sponsorship under the current deal.

The public programme of events includes video installations, poetry, gallery tours, pop-up theatre, kids creative workshops, film screenings and artist debates. Deadline Festival will use Tate’s gallery spaces to debate questions usually excluded from the gallery, and discuss cultural institutions’ role in tackling climate change. The full programme will be available next week on www.deadline.org.uk

Festival highlights include

  • Capital Culture Climate: with Doreen Massey (Emeritus Professor, Open University), Selina Nwulu (London Young Poet Laureate 2016) and Loraine Leeson (Artist, director of Director cSPACE)
  • Art & Politics – with Julie Ward MEP (Labour), Natalie Bennett (Green Party), Sonia Boyce (artist, Professor)
  • Tickets are now on sale, a short play by Caryl Churchill
  • Performance & Power: with Michael McMillan (playwright, artist, educator), Lucy Ellinson (actor, Grounded), and Feimatta Conteh (sustainability manager, Arcola theatre)
  • Naomi Klein’s climate justice film This Changes Everything
  • Unofficial Translation by Ivo Theatre – COP21 negotiations live translated into performance
  • An open invitation to seed-bomb the plant beds erected in Tate’s Turbine Hall as part of Abraham Cruzvillegas’s Empty Lot

Festival curator Mika Minio-Paluello said “Deadline Festival will be cheeky, serious and unauthorised, and marks Tate’s one year deadline to come off BP sponsorship. We will use Tate’s gallery spaces to debate London’s responsibility to break with fossil fuels and our colonial heritage. We’re bringing together artists and actors, professors and politicians to explore the creative process of building a fossil free culture.”

Tate’s controversial sponsorship deal with BP runs from 2012-2016. Earlier this year, a three-year freedom of information court battle forced Tate to reveal that historically BP’s sponsorship fees amounted to £150,000-£330,000 a year – under 0.5% of Tate’s annual budget.[2]

In September, over 300 artists and cultural organisations including London’s Royal Court Theatre signed a commitment to reject fossil fuel funding.[3]  In November, the Science Museum confirmed that Shell is being dropped as sponsor of its climate change exhibition.[4]

Tate director Nicholas Serota has publicly confirmed that Tate Trustees will be reconsidering BP sponsorship during 2016.

Anna Galkina of Platform added “We’re posing a mainstream cultural challenge to oil sponsorship of our arts. As politicians gather in Paris to discuss planetary deadlines for coming off fossil fuels, and London debates its own role, Tate risks being left behind.”

Contact: Festival Curator Mika Minio-Paluello mika@platformlondon.org / 07733466038

[1] Deadline Festival @Tate is being curated by London-based arts & research organisation Platform, and organised by the Deadline Festival committee and Art not Oil coalition.
[2] http://platformlondon.org/p-pressreleases/tate-forced-to-reveal-bp-sponsorship-details/

[3] See FossilFundsFree.org

[4] http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/13112015-science-museum-has-no-plans-to-renew-deal-with-shell

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