Thank you for joining us here.
I have been asked to read this statement by a member of artist collective FFC NL, one that wishes to remain anonymous.
We are gathered here today to decry the inverted justice of artists being imprisoned for making socially relevant art. It seems the dark day is already upon us, when the might of catastrophic polluters like Shell can silence the creative free speech of artists and thinkers, and art-wash their image using their ill-gained profits.
Eight performers from Fossil Free Culture NL were imprisoned for dripping a few drops of molasses on the floor of this museum during a performance. Thoroughly tested non-staining organic molasses. And yet! Shell can apparently pollute a whole planet with their fountains of oil and make a fortune without a drip of punishment. Does this seem fair to you?
Shame on Shell! and shame on the Van Gogh museum for bringing about the arrest of these brave artists.
My name is Liset Meddens. I am a spokesperson for 350.org. This week is Global Divestment Mobilisation week, and the performance these artists were arrested for was a part of that.
I ask you to join with me and hang your heads in a minute of silence whilst we consider together the grave injustice of these arrests, and what this signals for our society at large.”
[MINUTE OF SILENCE]
I ask you to hold these thoughts with you, and to continue to speak out with creativity and passion against the purchase of influence by Shell and the rest of the fossil fuel industry. Don’t allow them to silence artists and all those calling for climate justice.
Free the #VanGogh8!