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ACTION • Fossil Free culture NL targets the Groninger Museum

GasTerra, owned bij Shell and ExxonMobil tries to wash its dirty gas extraction in Groningen of their hands by sponsoring the Groninger Museum. Fossil Free Culture NL is launching a campaign to let the museum cut its ties with Gasterra once and for all.

artwashing - GRONINGEN - shell

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Oil and gas corporations consciously connect themselves to cultural institutions through sponsorship and partnerships to maintain the social license they need to continue operating in these critical times. This strategy is called artwashing, and that is what we are challenging. In the coming period, Fossil Free Culture NL, a group of artists and activists, will target the sponsorship of GasTerra (a company owned by Shell and ExxonMobil) to Groninger Museum in Groningen.


Humanity is facing the most pressing existential crisis of our time. We have less than one decade left to limit climate catastrophe. The Netherlands lags behind when it comes to climate leadership, enabling and promoting Shell’s business as a key player that keeps the Dutch economy up and running.

Fossil Free Culture NL already has a successful history of eradicating fossil fuel funding to
cultural institutions in The Netherlands. No less than the Van Gogh Museum, the Concertgebouw and NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam already cut their ties with fossil fuels after a targeted campaign by Fossil Free Culture NL.

This time around, the artists and activists will focus on the Groninger Museum, sponsored by the natural gas extraction company GasTerra that has terrorized the inhabitants of the region with its activities. The natural gas extraction has caused thousands of earthquakes since the mid-1980s, damaging houses and traumatizing residents in exchange of more pollution. Just to stuff the pockets of the company with some more money.

With this campaign, Fossil Fuel Culture NL aims to hold cultural institutions accountable for enabling these harms, and further erode the “gas as the transition fuel” narrative. For this, we will work with the Gastivist Network and local frontline groups resisting gas extraction.

The performances that they will execute will centre the voices of the most impacted and marginalized communities. They will connect local stories of gas resistance with stories of the communities resisting gas extraction in the so-called Global South, like Mozambique and Argentina. At the same time, it will show up artwashing as a dangerous and deceiving practice that upholds the fossil fuel industry’s power and legitimizes its immoral activities.

Het Actiefonds is proud to contribute to the campaign against Gasterra’s sponsorship of the Groninger Museum!