BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 03 December '15

Unauthorised arts festival to take place in Tate Modern during Paris climate talks

Platform London is curating an unauthorised arts festival inside Tate Modern on 4-6 December, exactly a year before Tate’s BP sponsorship deal expires.

Sustaining great art – in a year, England’s arts sector saved enough carbon to fill the Royal Albert Hall 47 times

COP21, Tate and BP

Deadline festival at Tate will also mark the middle weekend of the COP21 UN climate talks in Paris, and the start of Tate’s final year of BP sponsorship under the current deal. 

The public programme of events includes video installations, poetry, gallery tours, pop-up theatre, kids’ creative workshops, film screenings and artist debates.

All events are free and take place at Tate Modern, Southbank, London.

’Cheeky, serious and unauthorised’

Deadline festival will use Tate’s gallery spaces to debate questions usually excluded from the gallery, and discuss the role of cultural institutions in tackling climate change.

‘Deadline festival will be cheeky, serious and unauthorised, and marks Tate’s one year deadline to come off BP sponsorship. We will use Tate’s gallery spaces to debate London’s responsibility to break with fossil fuels and our colonial heritage.

‘We’re bringing together artists and actors, professors and politicians to explore the creative process of building a fossil free culture.’

Mika Minio-Paluello, Deadline Festival curator

Festival highlights

Capital Culture Climate: with Doreen Massey (Emeritus Professor, Open University), Selina Nwulu (London Young Poet Laureate 2016) and Loraine Leeson (Artist, director of Director cSPACE) 
Art & Politics: with Julie Ward MEP (Labour), Natalie Bennett (Green Party) and Sonia Boyce (artist, Professor)
Performance & Power: with Michael McMillan (playwright, artist, educator), Lucy Ellinson (actor, Grounded) and Feimatta Conteh (sustainability manager, Arcola theatre)
This Changes Everything: the climate justice film from Naomi Klein
Seed bombing: an open invitation to seed-bomb the plant beds erected in Tate’s Turbine Hall as part of Abraham Cruzvillegas’s Empty Lot

Cutting ties

Tate’s controversial sponsorship deal with BP runs from 2012-2016. Earlier this year, a three-year freedom of information court battle forced Tate to reveal that historically, BP’s sponsorship fees amounted to £150,000-£330,000 a year – under 0.5% of Tate’s annual budget.

In September, over 300 artists and cultural organisations, including London’s Royal Court Theatre, signed a commitment to reject fossil fuel funding. In November, the Science Museum confirmed that Shell is being dropped as sponsor of its climate change exhibition.

Tate director Nicholas Serota has publicly confirmed that Tate Trustees will be reconsidering BP sponsorship during 2016.

‘We’re posing a mainstream cultural challenge to oil sponsorship of our arts. As politicians gather in Paris to discuss planetary deadlines for coming off fossil fuels, and London debates its own role, Tate risks being left behind.’

Anna Galkina, Platform

Click here to find out more about the Deadline Festival at Tate and to view the full programme of events.