An Open Letter to Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre: End the sponsorship from Shell
  • Petitioned Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre

This petition was delivered to:

Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre

An Open Letter to Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre: End the sponsorship from Shell

    1. Petition by

      Chris Garrard

      Oxford, United Kingdom

On Wednesday 3rd October 2012, the current season of the Shell Classic International concert series opened at the Southbank Centre, with a performance of Benjamin Britten’s ‘plea for peace’, the Sinfonia da Requiem. However, there is an unpleasant irony in this programme choice. Shell, the sponsor of the concert series, have now spent in excess of $65 million supporting Nigeria’s military task force, exacerbating conflict and human rights incidents. In recent years, Shell’s oil spills have contaminated the Niger Delta, their extraction plants in Canada’s tar sands have encroached upon the land of Indigenous peoples and now they have turned their attention to dangerous oil drilling in the shrinking Arctic. By giving their money and attaching their name, Shell is buying the social legitimacy of these high-profile concerts to keep their record of environmental damage and unjust practices out of sight. We represent a cross-section of the current and emerging generation of performers, composers, artists and audience members, that believe Shell’s sponsorship is tarnishing the reputation of the Southbank Centre. Even in a context of austerity and funding cuts, corporate sponsorship money does not exist in an ethical vacuum. Our arts institutions should provide a space for confronting injustice, not concealing it – we therefore urge the Southbank Centre to bring to an end its relationship with Shell.

We invite you to add your name to this open letter (below) to Alan Bishop,Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre. Please give your vocation/organisation in the box marked 'why is this important to you', to demonstrate the breadth of support.

(There is the possibility of publication in other media sources for this letter. In which case, no other information than your name and vocation/organisation would be given as your "signature")

For further information on Shell's activities in Nigeria, Canada and the Arctic, please see the following report:

http://www.no-tar-sands.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Shell-Risking-Ruin.pdf

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Sinead McManus SWANSEA, IRELAND
      • about 1 year ago

      By being sponsored by Shell I think you are contaminating a beautiful performance space with an unethical company who puts profit before people and the environment every time. I think you should seriously think about choosing a more suitable and more upstanding sponsor next time. The Southbank is being tainted because of this.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Peter Hicks MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 year ago

      I recently went to a performance of 'Noah's Flood' in the Southbank centre, with local school children performing a fantastic up dated version - with climate change not surprisingly a key theme of the play. Partnering with Shell, with its sponsorship of fuel hungry motorsports, ambitions to join with Gazprom in turning the Artic into a greenhouse-gas production line and appalling human rights record in Nigeria really what we want? I'd like you to ask the school children who performed in that play.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ravi Parbhoo LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 year ago

      For future generations.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Maja Ratkje OSLO, NORGE, NORWAY
      • over 1 year ago

      Oil is not the future. Art is the future. Don't hold the arts back into the dirty business of fossile fuel.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Liam Doran DUBLIN, IRELAND
      • over 1 year ago

      This is important to me because in my own country(Ireland) our spineless government are letting Shell put farmer livelihoods at risk through building pipelines on their land.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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