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What is Artwashing?

An image of decorative frames on a background of purple wallpaper. The frames contain images of fossil fuel infrastructure. Text reads: What is Artwashing? Wednesday 23rd March 7-8.30pm Online

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‘Artwashing’ is a term that has been popularised to describe the ways that major polluters and other organisations that cause environmental damage might use the arts to clean up their public image. The term has been at the centre of recent debates about issues like sponsorship from oil and gas companies in the arts , fossil fuel publicity methods and how the arts might unknowingly be used as a way to obstruct progress on climate change.

This event uses the term as a jumping off point for a discussion about how culture and creativity might be used as a means of inhibiting action on climate change and how we should respond to these situations, which can be difficult to navigate. We’ll look at how people in the arts might avoid the sector being used for potentially regressive ends and how those working on climate change might find and address instances of artwashing.

Join us to hear from our three speakers:

  • Sokari Douglas Camp CBE, a Nigerian-born British sculptor who works with recycled oil barriers in response to oil extraction in her birthplace in the Niger Delta. Her public artworks include Battle Bus: Living Memorial for Ken Saro‐Wiwa (2006), a full-scale replica of a Nigerian steel bus, which stands as a monument to the late Niger Delta activist and writer.
  • Dr Chris Garrard, a composer, researcher and campaigner and co-director of Culture Unstained, a research, engagement and campaigning organisation which aims to end fossil fuel sponsorship of culture.
  • Duncan Meisel is the Director of Clean Creatives, a project bringing together ad and PR agencies, their staff, and clients to end work for the fossil fuel industry, the primary cause of climate change. Prior to Clean Creatives, he led digital and social media strategy for global organizations focused on stopping climate change and protecting human rights.

This will be followed by some question and answer time and space for discussion in breakout rooms. 

Technical Information

The event will be held via Zoom. Please register on Eventbrite and you will receive an email on the day of the event with a link to join the online call via your internet browser or the Zoom app. To participate you need an internet connection and a device (a desktop, laptop, or tablet are preferable). If you have any problems, please get in touch with lewis.coenen-rowe@creativecarbonscotland.com.

We want to remove barriers to participation in these events and are happy to make adjustments to prevent people being excluded. If you have any accessibility requirements, please state these when signing up or get in touch by email if you would like to provide more information or ask any questions. Please see our Safe Working Spaces Statement for more information.

About Green Tease

grey oblique lines growing darker, then a green line with an arrow pointing right and overlaid text reading 'culture SHIFT'This event is taking place as part of the Green Tease events series and network, a project organised by Creative Carbon Scotland, bringing together people from arts and environmental backgrounds to discuss, share expertise, and collaborate. Green Tease forms part of our culture/SHIFT programme. 


March 23
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:




Creative Carbon Scotland

Images are supplied by the event organiser and used with permission.

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About Creative Carbon Scotland

We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

0131 529 7909

Supported by

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A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City logo Federation of Scottish Theatre logo Scottish Contemporary Art Network logo


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