Category Archives: C Words

Licence to Spill – Shitting in the Palace

Platform launch their latest publication ‘Not if but when – Culture Beyond Oil‘ this evening. Here’s the full version of some commentary I contributed to their 2010 leaflet, Licence to Spill:

download the full leaflet here

Shitting in the Palace – 8/6/10

During the 2009 C Words artist-activist season at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol I heard several versions of a story about a legendary character known as “the Shitter”. The Shitter, as one version of the tale went, was a disgruntled visitor whose method of protest was to take a dump in the corner of the gallery.

The Shitter’s medium of choice reminded me of the Bill Hick’s quote:

“You do a commercial – you’re off the artistic roll call, forever. End of story… You’re another whore at the capitalist gang bang… there’s a price on your head. Everything you say is suspect and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink.”

There have been a lot of oily turds falling into drink-water of late.

There is however, one pleasing aspect to this latest oil spill – it directly affects rich people. As such the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster is big news and some action is thus being taken to mitigate its effects. We can only fantasise that oil is discovered, drilled and fracked on the Rockefeller family estate; huge coltan reserves mined under the Pentagon; a massive plutonium store tapped in the grounds of Windsor Castle Continue reading

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Talking TABOO in TINA’s Twisted Face

The ludicrous and ugly dogma of TINA (There Is No Alternative) withers against the blossoming beauty of TABOO (There Are Billions Of Options).

Written and performed by Dorothea Smartt of African Writers Abroad – one of a series of new poems from the anthology “No Condition is Permanent: 19 Poets on Climate Justice and Change” published by PLATFORM. TINA: refering to Margaret Thatcher’s infamous phrase “There Is No Alternative”,  TABOO taken from title of this 2009 workshop: “There Are Billions Of Options”.  Poetry commissioned as part of PLATFORM’s two-month season of events and exhibition CWords: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture held at Arnolfini, Bristol in 2009. Film made by You and I Films.

Listen to Dorothea read and discuss this and other poems with Naomi Woddis on the excellent Reel Rebels radio show The Conversational.

+ check this inspiring essay from Patrick Reinsborough which references Dorothea’s poem and the ‘meme-ic’ notion of TABOO:  Giant Whispers: Narrative Power, Radical Imagination and a Future Worth Fighting For.