Omar Robert Hamilton writes about this film on his Cinerevolution Now blog:
I am privileged to be working with a new collective of young film-makers in Cairo. Each dedicated to making their camera count. We call ourselves Mosireen, or We Are Determined. We work fluidly and interchangeably and with increasing efficiency and remarkably little ego.
Four days ago we finished a film on the martyrs of the Egyptian revolution. The film ends with a scrolling list of all the names of the dead. It is the first time they have been gathered and listed together. Three columns of names run across the screen for over two minutes. It is heartbreaking. We screened it on a makeshift cinema that we erect in Tahrir whenever we can.
This is the second in a series of extra materials relating to our alternative audio tour for the Tate Modern exposing the impacts of BP’s day-to-day business. Due to time constraints, this interview didn’t make the final edit of our Drilling the Dirt (A Temporary Difficulty) audio tour. In it, Omar Robert Hamilton sits in the cafe outside the Tate Modern and speaks about Egypt under Mubarak, artistic repression in the country and why he thinks the Tate is wrong to take money from BP. Omar Robert Hamilton is an English-Egyptian film-maker and producer of the annual Palestine Festival of Literature.
BP’s cultural sponsorship seems to be spreading like a rash. They evidently feel they have a lot to do to win back the public’s confidence in their brand. In the latest twist they are sponsoring The World Shakespeare Festival. But fear ye not, as actors, directors and playwrights have piped up denouncing the fearful brand’s despoiling of the favoured Bard. And cheeky activists too, have taken the Bard’s lyrical language and exposed the dirty deeds of the ones that seek to profit from their association with such cultural treasures past. And lo’ did the audience think their performance and message was good… Follow their exploits here.
Even RSC writer-in-residence Mark Ravenhill’s new sonnet for Shakespeare’s birthday seems to be cursing the branding of the bard. See what you think…
In the first of a series of extra materials relating to our Tate à Tate audio tour “Drilling the Dirt (A Temporary Difficulty)” here is the full text of the statement that portrait artist Raoul Martinez wrote and read specifically for this project. A short extract from this reading features near the end of our tour. Martinez was selected for the BP sponsored National Portrait Award in 2011. His notable sitters have included Howard Zinn and the Dalai Lama. He is also working on a documentary series exploring the relationship between freedom and power in democratic societies. [continues...] Read more…
The new Damien Hirst retrospective which opens tomorrow 4th April at Tate Modern has forced a last minute revision of our BP themed alternative audio tour. The Hirst exhibition appropriated the floor space which contained Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds – one of the featured artworks in our Tate à Tate audio tour. This forced us into a last minute revision of the work before the launch – necessitating the selection of a new work, writing a new section of the guide, re-recording our trusty narrator Josephine Borradaile, creating new sound design, re-editng, remastering and re-uploading the work. Our unauthorised audio tour Drilling The Dirt (A Temporary Difficulty) was successfully installed in the Tate Modern on Friday 23rd March. It is part of a series of three works critical of Tate’s complicity in BP’s social and environmental crimes through its acceptance of BP sponsorship. We have archived the Ai Weiwei section here for your enjoyment and edification.
In 2008 Damien Hirst donated the proceeds from the sale of one of his artworks to Survival International. With his new show opening at the Tate Modern, Damien Hirst has a powerful opportunity to make a public statement against the treatment of the Canadian indigenous peoples who have been impacted by BP’s interests in the tar sands.
For more on BP and Shell’s meetings with the UK government in the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq see the minutes obtained under Freedom of Information by Greg Muttitt.