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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2 newspapers on "big oil" - 1996 and 1997

Everday billions reach for a news paper. They are windows through which we see a vast and complex world. But, today these windows are controlled by an all-powerful few. In a vast city like London, the majority of us bury our heads in such papers as we sit on our buses, tubes and trains: people often leave their papers for others to read, and many of us use the public space to pick up and peruse papers we would never usually read, especially free newspapers. For these reasons, PLATFORM decided to launch a free commuter newspaper entitled ‘Ignite’, designed to put out our research about the oil industry into the bloodstream of the city.

Published in two editions in November 1996 and December 1997 and produced by an interdisciplinary team of scientists, journalists, artists, campaigners and researchers, each edition was themed. Ignite 1: how the oil industry impacts on human rights; Ignite 2: how transnational corporations impact on climate change.

Combining serious journalism with populist writing, imaginative design, subvertising and an innovative editorial style, and playing on commuter behaviour outlined above, readers were invited to be drawn into debates they might often ignore. ‘Ignite’ emphasises individual responsibility and connectedness to the challenge of oil dependency, so that all London citizens can begin to feel how we are part of the problem, through the things we buy, the jobs we do, the flights we take, and the money we invest. With over 15,000 copies distributed each time, a challenge was made to the media’s culture of complacency. When the project closed, some contributors to Ignite went on to collaborate with Reclaim the Streets to create a series of spoof activist newspapers such as "Evading Standards", "Financial Crimes" , "The Spun" and "Maybe"...

IGNITE, reporting on big oil, (London commuter newspaper), PLATFORM, Nov/Dec 1997, 15,000 copies distributed during period of Kyoto Climate Change Conference, funded by the Arts Council of England. Headline: ‘Smogbusters ! Let’s make this London history’

IGNITE, reporting on big oil, (London commuter newspaper), PLATFORM, Tuesday 10th December 1996, 13,000 copies distributed on Human Rights Day, funded by the Arts Council of England. Headline :‘London company in dirty deal shock’ on BP in Colombia

Cindy Baxter - environmental campaigner, Nolan Fell - environment journalist, Dan Gretton, John Jordan, Emma McFarland, James Marriott, Tim Nunn - photographer/designer, Jane Trowell

Ignite was funded by the Arts Council of England.