PLATFORM works across disciplines for social and ecological justice. It combines the transformatory power of art with the tangible goals of campaigning, the rigour of in-depth research with the vision to promote alternative futures.


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Crude Operators, 1997

In May 1997, in collaboration with Corporate Watch, PLATFORM created Crude Operators, a two-day gathering of organisations and individuals from around the world who share a common interest in the inquiring into, and often in resisting, the social and ecological impacts of the exploration, production, transportation, refining, marketing and use of oil.

From the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
That shall be brought forth out of the dark and obscure caves, which will put the whole human race in great anxiety, peril, and death. To many that seek them, after many sorrows they will give delight, and to those who are not in their company, death with want and misfortune. This will lead to the commission of endless crimes; this will increase and persuade bad men to assassinations, robberies and enslavement and by reason of it each will be suspicious of his partner. This will deprive cities of their happy condition; this will take away the lives of many; this will make men to torment one another... For this the vast forests will be devastated of their trees; for this endless animals will lose their lives.
The Prophecies. 'of metals'

The gathering brought together for the first time artists, activists and campaigners from Iran, Nigeria, Wales, U.S.A., Netherlands, Colombia, Scotland, and East Timor and created dialogue between organisations such as Earth First ! (U.K.), Project Underground (U.S.), MOSOP (Nigeria), Greenpeace (U.K.), Friends of The Earth (U.K.), Union Sindical Obrero (Colombia), Reclaim The Streets, and Offshore Industries Liaison Committee (U.K.).

The event combined presentations and workshops, and a feast which was situated inside an art installation.

Out of the process of Crude Operators has come a living network and a desire for further such gatherings. This has been built on and taken forward through the main current oil-focused project, Unravelling the Carbon Web.

Crude Operators - an oil reader
A collection of papers on the oil industry, its impacts, and campaigning against the industry. PLUS news updates and analysis on oil industry developments, and on activism against Big Oil. (co-publication Corporate Watch and PLATFORM). Spring 1999. 56 pages.

James Marriott, Greg Muttitt - Corporate Watch, Clare Patey - artist

Corporate Watch and PLATFORM

the conference