Protesters rock Fringe

• Writer Vivienne Glance reads from the 2018 IPCC report. Photo by Miles Tweedie.

AN unauthorised performance has joined the Fringe World lineup to protest against the festival’s sponsorship by a major fossil fuel provider.

Extinction Rebellion WA’s show “1.5 Degrees Live” will see performers take turns reading out the entire 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report at the “Woodside Pleasure Gardens”, following in the footsteps of readings at Edinburgh Fringe.

Extinction Rebellion says Woodside purchases “social licence” with its arts spends and wants Fringe to turn down any future funding.

On Friday January 24 the Friends of Australian Rock Art is coordinating the 1.5 degrees reading, headed up by Aboriginal musician Lois Olney who has kin connections to the Burrup.

FARA is angry over Woodside’s recent relocation of ancient Aboriginal rock art at the Burrup during an expansion of its LNG hub, and fears pollution from the gas trains could erode the works.

XRWA organiser Tamara Clements says the first few readings have been “really well received… people did stay for quite a while. We even had some people return the next night which was really uplifting to see”.

The reading segments are punctuated by 10-minute discussions between performers about the report.

“It gives people an opportunity to listen to the science, to have it read out to them, and we also have time to reflect and share comments and opinions,” Clements said.

She says Fringe organisers haven’t given them any trouble: “We were shifted off the pavement by the council, and Fringe World were accommodating and allowed us to be on the grass. Fringe World has been cooperative but they’re not meeting our demands, which is to help us tell the truth [about the climate] by removing sponsorship from the polluter.”

XRWA’s Jesse Noakes says they’re not aiming to hinder Fringe.

“Fringe isn’t Woodside – we don’t want to be interfering with artists,” Mr Noakes said.

“We don’t see this as a protest or disruption, but part of the public art – part of the entertainment.”

They’re at the Russell Square grounds Thursdays through Sundays, until the estimated 50 hours of reading the report is done.

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