Culture Beyond Oil
Illustration by SHOUT / Animated by Ale Pixel Studio
Article 'Making Museums Moral Again' - New York Times
Last December during the #UnitedNations climate talks in Paris hundreds of environmental activists gathered outside the Louvre to protest the museum’s sponsorship ties to two of the world’s largest oil companies. Among the demonstrators were members of politically minded art collectives like #OccupyMuseums and #NotAnAlternative, from the United States, and #LiberateTate, from England.
Carrying open black umbrellas that spelled out the phrase “#FossilFreeCulture,” most of them stayed in the plaza around the museum’s glass pyramid, singing and reading position statements. ....Meanwhile, inside the museum, another action was in progress. Ten performers poured an oily liquid onto the atrium floor and walked barefoot through it, creating a chaotic pattern of footprints before the police moved in. The Louvre performance was one of a growing number of protests recently directed at large international art institutions, among them the #MetropolitanMuseumofArt and the #Guggenheim Museum in New York. Some museums were urged to stop taking money from ethically dubious corporate or personal sources, including board members who deny that climate change is underway. Others were called out for condoning, if not actively supporting, inhumane labor practices, like those imposed on migrant workers building new Guggenheim and Louvre franchises in Abu Dhabi.