Special agent Nemu has been busy this week, with two actions at the British Museum. The irony of BP, one of the major historical contributors to climate change, sponsoring an exhibition on Sunken Cities was too good an opportunity to miss.
The first was an unscheduled artwork for the press conference in the morning, while the school trips were there, so I had an opportunity to terrify children about their watery future.
The second got a bit out of hand. The personal is political, apparently, and personally I lost my cool around Osaka. Hearing a list of cities that are expected to be underwater, with Alexandria in 15 years and progressing to Miami and others, it felt a bit like a horrible dream, and while visualising in pebbles the 340 activists disappeared by the Egyptian government, I successfully disengaged my brain from the sadness of it. But when our BP promotor reached Osaka it was real. That place is streets and people and memories, a job in a bong shop in Shinsaibashi when I was at the peak of my vigour, a funky foreigner in Mega-city One
Treasured memories at the end of a history. I raise a shout and bang on doors, not to assist my beloved but to say goodbye, to announce my fidelity and non-compliance. There’s something to save, I think, but it is nothing I expect to recognise. Things got a bit out of hand. We stayed past closing time to greet the ambassadors of Greece and Egypt on their way to BP-sponsored canapé party that was to be held, so they rerouted the guests round the side; but then we tried to rush their party to fizz up their champagne a little. The security guards, who we usually get on well with, held us back, and so we banged on the doors so loudly that the guests couldn’t hear the speeches. Some of the guests agreed with us:
"At the launch, the BP executive made a joke about 'a shared interest in sunken treasures'. It was so cringing I almost felt sorry for the guy. Of course he also ladled on the praise for various representatives of Egypt's current brutal dictatorship that were in attendance - no surprise given that the Sisi regime is a key partner to BP's Egypt investments, and state security forces have helped repress communal protests over BP's activities in the country in recent years"
Finally the cops were called and we had to nip out of the gates that security was closing on us, which was tense but a bit of a giggle. Greenpeace rebranded the museum the following day, which was the first day of the exhibition, and the management closed it down for four hours. Then some other fellows from BP or not BP gatecrashed the BP big screen event in Trafalgar Square the day after that, and projected onto Nelson’s Column. Weh-hey!
Plenty more trouble brewing – get involved here!
Sunken cities of the future:
2016 Nuatambu Island, Solomon Islands
2020 Male, Maldives
2025 Amsterdam, Netherlands
2035 New Orleans, USA
2040 Alexandria, Egypt
2045 Mumbai, India
2050 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2055 Lagos, Nigeria
2056 Cairns, Australia
2057 Shenzen, China
2058 Buenos Aires, Argentina
2059 Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
2060 London, United Kingdom