just stop oil
people keep asking us what we think of the just stop oil protests in galleries and I haven’t had anything to say, like, I don’t have any full formed thoughts on the topic because I am just not informed enough. But I watched this video by Leena Norms recently and I felt like my opinions were starting to become more cohesive:
I didn’t actually know that a lot of these protests, from XR to Just Stop Oil, are about trying to get arrested in order to overwhelm the met police (?so that the police then ?beg? the government to do something about the root cause of the problem?). I found that exciting but then I have been chatting to people on our discord about the problems within the strategy – and I’ve also been making my way through this podcast series about climate activism – and all my opinions have been broken open again. And then I think that we shouldn’t be thinking, and I shouldn’t be posting blog posts about how I’m stuck thinking, when I believe in direct action – and then I think again about how I am chronically ill and if I got arrested, I would be fucked, so I’m glad people with more socio-economic and physical privilege are doing this instead. Idk. Idk. I just wanted to share that video and that link. I’ll come back when I have more of a clue.
Ultimately, I’m glad this stuff is happening in galleries. We can’t have nice things when we’re dead. Art is already superfluous for a lot of people. If soup and paint and glue on classic paintings give more people (in power) the willies, if they think it is horrible blasphemous activity, then good. They’re listening. If it’s ridiculous and memeable, then that’s good also because people are talking.
Here is Just Stop Oil’s website if you wanna read more about why they are doing this: https://juststopoil.org