What are they building in there?

Emma Hughes writes about the mysterious piece of art activism happening this weekend

July 5, 2012 · 2 min read

The art activist collective Liberate Tate is asking people to join them for a mysterious event in London this Saturday (7th July).

Liberate Tate aims ‘to free art from the grips of the oil industry’. They focus on BP’s sponsorship of the Tate arguing that the oil company’s sponsorship of this cultural institution is key in providing it with a ‘social license to operate’. In Summer 2010 Tate provided a forceful demonstration of this. As oil was still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s Deepwater Horizon, Tate held its annual Summer Party which celebrated twenty years of BP sponsorship. Liberate Tate also turned up creating their own tribute to BP in the form of an artistic ‘oil’ spill.

BP’s sponsorship of the arts has been attracting increasing controversy over the last few weeks as the ‘Reclaim Shakespeare Company‘have taken over stages to highlight BP’s sponsorship of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Liberate Tate’s past performances have featured black veils, helium balloons bearing dead fish and a naked person covered in ‘oil’ but Saturday’s event promises to be bigger than anything seen before. To add to the intrigue they’ve created this Tom Waits inspired video. What indeed are they building? If you want to find out add a mobile phone number here to find out the location and wait for the fun to begin on Saturday!


Bedding Down in the Shadows of Belfast’s Bonfires

The bonfires of Belfast have a raw relevance. Pádraig Ó Meiscill reflects on an annual controversy.

Woke Jokes

There’s nothing radical – or funny – about right-wing comedy, says Jake Laverde

Boris Johnson on Have I Got News for You (BBC via The Guardian)

How Corbyn Unmasked Comedy

Juliet Jacques argues that the way comedians treated Jeremy Corbyn demolished their anti-establishment credentials


starmer and corbyn

The Labour left and ‘the long march through the institutions’

Sabrina Huck kicks off the debate on Labour and the left with a re-reading of Dutschke, with an introduction by Hilary Wainwright

Refugee family reunification during a pandemic

Border closures and travel restrictions caused by the pandemic have made family reunification difficult for refugees. But, as Luke Butterly reports, these rights have been eroded over a number of years

On a rainy day and evening the CAA-NPR-NRC protesters are still in Shaheen Bagh . People have come to support from far and wide

Shaheen Bagh lives on

The women of a south Delhi neighbourhood have inspired a protest movement which will long outlive their temporary encampment, writes Ananya Wilson-Bhattacharya