We can get cultural institutions to break their ties with Shell and other fossil fuel companies. Let’s go!
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Dear friends, colleagues and allies,

We are a network of artists, activists and scholars at the intersection of cultural work and climate politics. We are excited to announce that we are launching a campaign to expose and confront the influence of the fossil fuel industry on cultural institutions in the Netherlands.

Our demand: a Fossil Free Culture

Fossil fuel companies —the most profitable sector of all time— are structurally and actively opposed to a sustainable energy transition, and they have a disastrous track record on human rights violations and environmental degradation. Meanwhile, the same companies sponsor prestigious cultural institutions and events around the world to greenwash their image. In this way, they enjoy social respectability in order to carry on business-as-usual.

Let’s get the Shell out of here!

In the Netherlands, Shell has been a major cultural sponsor for decades. It has set up partnership programs and sponsorship deals with the Van Gogh Museum, Het Mauritshuis, Nemo Science Center, Het Concertgebouw, and EYE Film Museum. The Rijksmuseum also deserves a special mention here: despite having the biggest budget of any museum in the Netherlands, it is sponsored by Aramco, the Saudi state oil company.

Join the global movement for Climate Justice

The stakes are high; but luckily, we are not alone. In the global movement for Climate Justice, there are many groups demanding and bringing an end to such partnerships. In the UK, Liberate Tate has gained international recognition with their creative interventions, which ultimately forced BP to terminate its decades long sponsorship. In the US, the coal baron David Koch had to step down from the board of New York Natural History Museum. We are ready to bring the movement and its victories home  —but we need your help.

What can we do?

  • Build a platform of organisations, artists, cultural workers and citizens. Together we can influence these cultural institutions to break their ties with Shell and other fossil fuel companies. Let’s go!

  • Shape this campaign collectively and reach out to the broadest audience possible. In order to do that, we would like to get to know you better! We kindly ask you to fill in this brief survey (5 minutes).

  • We also encourage you to already make a commitment not to take direct funding from fossil fuel companies by signing the international Fossil Funds Free pledge.

  • Finally, please help us spread the message by forwarding this letter to your friends and colleagues that are also engaged in cultural work. You can also follow and share on social media.

Looking forward to meet soon —in fossil free cultural spaces near you!
your Fossil Free Culture NL team.

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