Tag Archives: PLATFORM

‘Return’ – poem for the Ogoni 9 Living Memorial Journey to Nigeria

The 10th November marks 20 years since the execution of writer, poet and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni leaders for their protests against Shell oil destroying their land.
To mark the occasion Platform have shipped the Battle Bus (the Living Memorial to the Ogoni 9 designed by Sokari Douglas Camp), over to Nigeria in an act of solidarity with the Ogoni people.

At present the bus is still impounded by Nigerian customs – the head of which was on the tribunal that decided the fate of the Ogoni 9 back in 1995. Keep in touch with updates and solidarity with the Ogoni who have threatened to mobilize and cripple the economy unless the bus is released via #bus4ogoni9 and #Freethebus hashtags.

This poem was commissioned by Platform and forms part of a leaflet designed by graphic artist Jon Daniel and also featuring artwork from Alfreedo Jaar.

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You can read a blog on the poem over on Platform’s website here.

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Tate à Tate – Ending Fossil Fuel Sponsorship of the Arts

Earlier this month I was invited to take part in a panel discussion on Resonance FM with , , , and on the subject of ‘Ending Fossil Fuel Sponsorhip of the Arts’.

The full broadcast below also features an alternative tour of London’s Tate galleries via guerilla audio guides from artists such as The Artist Taxi Driver, Ansuman Biswas, Isa Suarez. The panel discussion takes place in the last half hour beginning at 3 hrs 22:

For more on these oily issues check the work of PlatformLiberate Tate, End oil-sponsorship of the arts, BP or not BP.

Power Propaganda Perceptions

Today. Pow.

A showcase of Power>>Propaganda>>Perceptions>> from the participants on the third Shake! course that took place at the Bernie Grants Arts Centre in August 2013.

Featuring freshly created poetic, filmic & musical responses to injustice from:

Poets: Christianah Babjide, Onysha Collins, Zena Edwards, Lucas Kelly, Jordan King-Burrowes, Sai Murray, Charlene Obi, Annie Rockson, Lateef Shofoluwe

Music: Marcina Arnold & Ed Lewis

Film: by Enayet Mannan, Khadiza Shahid, Richard York, Minaz Waris, Hannan Majid, Derek Richard, Minaz Waris, Umaru Saidu

“Reach” premiere of short film supported by HI8US SOUTH and The Rainbow Collective created during the Shake! course. See here for trailer

Featuring panel discussion & Q+A with film creators/Shake! participants.

Check the Shake! blog for more info.

SHOWCASE#3-front-web

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

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.