BP, wrong sponsors for Australian Aboriginal exhibition

This video says about itself:

Indigenous culture exhibition sponsored by…BP?! Unsurprisingly, there was a protest

On 21 April 2015, the British Museum‘s BP-sponsoredIndigenous Australia: enduring civilisation’ press launch was disrupted by activists, criticising oil sponsorship and calling for the repatriation of stolen indigenous objects.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Museum protest hits out at BP link to Australia works

Monday 20th July 2015

AN “unsanctioned performance” broke out at the British Museum yesterday as environmental campaigners stopped visitors from entering an exhibition sponsored by oil giant BP.

BP’s financial support of the Indigenous Australia exhibition was labelled “disturbing” by Aboriginal representatives who blame the firm for much of their communities’ dislodgement.

Activists staged an oil spill and a play telling the story of colonialism in Australia in the museum’s main hall.

Aboriginal author and academic Tony Birch said: “The involvement of organisations such as BP in the sponsorship of indigenous arts, history and culture is disturbing.

“It is also hypocritical.

“Our lands and cultures are under threat from multinational organisations, determined to extract selfish wealth from the earth, regardless of the environmental, emotional and cultural damage caused.

BP has an appalling record of environmental degradation.

“If it was genuinely concerned with the welfare, sovereignty and intellectual knowledge of indigenous nations, at a global level, it would cease its insatiable thirst for extracting fossil fuels from the ground and poisoning our air with them.”

Leaders of the Dja Dja Wurrung people in central Victoria unsuccessfully took legal action against the British Museum in 2005 in a bid to return artefacts belonging to their rare bark art heritage.

Environmental group BP or not BP, which campaigns for an end to the oil group’s sponsorship of art, organised the day’s events.

Spokeswoman Jess Worth said: “It’s hard to imagine a more inappropriate and insensitive sponsor for this exhibition than BP.

“The company is driving the very climate change that is threatening indigenous communities around the world, while pushing to drill four offshore wells in Australia, deeper than Deepwater Horizon.”

The British Museum had not commented at the time of going to press.

HUNDREDS of protesters invaded London’s British Museum yesterday in an anti-oil protest festival, as pressure for the gallery to drop BP’s sponsorship mounts. Arts and environmental groups including Art Not Oil and Liberate Tate hosted a series of performances in many of the museum’s rooms, highlighting the disastrous consequences of fossil fuel extraction: here.

Scotland: EDINBURGH Festival performers joined a group of environmental campaigners yesterday to protest against the event’s most controversial sponsor, oil company BP: here.

In a federal courtroom in New Orleans on Monday, oil giant British Petroleum (BP) finalized a $20.8 billion settlement of a civil suit stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the worst environmental disaster in American history: here.

I protested at Tate Britain because we can’t ignore the gallery’s controversial relationship with BP any longer: here.

14 thoughts on “BP, wrong sponsors for Australian Aboriginal exhibition

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  10. Monday 19th June 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    Rodney Kelly calls on British Museum to return stolen artefact. By Felicity Collier

    AN ABORIGINAL campaigner entered the British Museum yesterday to demand the return of a “stolen” shield he claims belongs to his ancestors.

    Rodney Kelly, who says he is a sixth-generation descendent of the shield’s original owner, asked senior museum representatives to return the ancient artefact to its owners, the Gweagal people.

    In a series of public talks, he claimed that the shield was violently seized from his great-great-great-great-grandfather — a warrior called Cooman — in 1770 by Captain Cook during the first encounter between the British and the indigenous peoples of Australia at Kamay (also known as Botany Bay).

    Mr Kelly originally spoke to museum trustees in October but felt that he was not being taken seriously.

    The museum has now sent the shield off for study. Mr Kelly said: “My family and I were never consulted about the shield being sent for study.

    “I believe that the museum did speak to the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, but neither the land council nor the British Museum ever consulted me about this decision.

    “I only found out when a British Museum visitor spotted that the shield cabinet was empty and informed me on Facebook.”

    Mr Kelly also raised objections to the museum’s connections with BP, saying that the shield had been “branded” with the logo of the destructive oil company — in 2015, the museum put the shield in an exhibition of indigenous Australian objects sponsored by BP.

    Most of the communities whose items were used in the exhibition were not informed that the land-wrecking oil giant would be the sponsor.

    Last year, the British Museum signed a new five-year sponsorship deal with BP. Mr Kelly’s campaign is supported by activist theatre troupe BP or not BP?, which wants to rid arts and culture of fossil-fuel branding.

    The British Museum said it would “be in touch with the La Perouse community, Rodney Kelly, and other interested parties when [the research] is complete.”

    After the protest, the museum arranged for Mr Kelly to speak to one of its curators today — but he is still pushing to speak to a senior decision-maker.



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