Bad Taste: full information for applicants

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What is Bad Taste?

Bad Taste is a Greenpeace project funding creative ideas that confront the role of the UK’s industrial food system in the climate crisis.

Greenpeace is inviting UK-based artists and activists to devise artworks, creative actions and interventions in places of public, political and corporate structural power.

Three projects will be supported with grants of £10,000, a separate production budget and a box of ash from the Amazon rainforest.

In recognition that there are inequities built into the industrial food system, this project prioritises the perspectives of artists and activists who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, people of colour and/or working class. We welcome people identifying as disabled and neurodivergent.

The ash represents the damage and violence that underpin industrial meat and dairy. Climate-critical forests across Brazil are burnt to make space for cattle and to grow soya for UK meat and dairy production – displacing and destroying Indigenous Peoples’ lives.

Even if we ended fossil fuel use today, without significantly reducing meat and dairy, emissions from the global food system alone would make it impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Greenpeace is calling for a radical reduction of industrial meat and dairy in the UK of 70% by 2030. The transition away from industrial meat and dairy requires support to be in place for farmers to produce food for all more sustainably; stopping imports of all agricultural commodities like animal feed that are linked to the destruction of forests overseas; freeing up land to restore nature in the UK; a commitment to ensuring accessible, affordable, nutritious food that respects cultural and religious traditions; and adequate support for households on the lowest incomes.

This project sits at the intersection of art and activism to foster imaginative strategies that create change. It’s the first time Greenpeace has fully opened up its action design process.

Open call process summary

We aim for Bad Taste’s iterative project development process to encourage shared learning and be mutually beneficial for all parties.

  1. Artists and activists in the UK are invited to submit their initial project idea by 15 January 2023.
  2. Zoom Q&A sessions are available with the core team throughout the open call.
  3. Submissions are reviewed, and approximately 10 artists and activists will be shortlisted and invited to a collaborative workshop to explore the impact of the industrial food system and its role in the climate crisis. All participants will be paid £250 to attend. Rail travel will be covered.
  4. The collaborative workshop will be devised and attended by subject experts in, for example, food sovereignty, politics, food, land and climate justice, art and activism.
  5. Following the collaborative workshop, the 10 shortlisted artists and activists will be invited to further develop their initial idea, and submit a full project proposal. All participants will be paid £500 to attend. Rail travel will be covered.
  6. The 10 full proposals will be reviewed, awarding three grants of £10,000.
  7. The three projects will be developed and produced between March and August 2023.
  8. Nonviolent direct action training tailored to lived experience will take place in April (date tbd).
  9. The projects will be delivered in the UK between September and November 2023.
  10. The project will conclude with a debrief to share collective learning in December 2023.

What are we looking to support?

Ideas should confront the damaging nature of the industrial meat and dairy system in the UK by:

  1. Exposing harms – how corporations, such as major food brands or agribusiness, or the UK government, are complicit in the crises that industrial meat and dairy exacerbate for people, climate and nature, and/or
  2. Promoting solutions – making links between industrial meat and dairy reduction and climate and social justice.

We are looking to support ideas that are:

  • Focused, simple and targeted to achieve maximum impact
  • Conceptually compelling, imaginative, bold and ambitious
  • Site-specific and take place in public, corporate or political spaces – perhaps without permission
  • Subversive and find unconventional ways to confront corporate actors
  • Action focused and can be delivered collaboratively with Greenpeace specialists, including climbing and/or boat teams

Artists and activists can deliver interventions independently, collaborate on actions design with Greenpeace specialists, or make work anonymously that Greenpeace delivers, without personally attending the site of intervention – and this doesn’t need to be decided before applying.

We are interested in creative approaches working across any artistic or creative medium for example (but not limited to) installations, interventions, public art, public sculpture, live art, performance, etc. We are particularly interested in creative and collaborative approaches that have been seen less often.

Who can apply?

The open call aims to attract creative submissions from:

  • Artists who are interested in exploring direct action
  • Activists who have an artistic or creative element to their work

In recognition that there are inequities built into the industrial food system, this project prioritises the perspectives of artists and activists who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, people of colour and/or working class.

We welcome people identifying as disabled and neurodivergent.

Background

Greenpeace UK investigates, documents and exposes the causes of environmental destruction. We work to bring about change by lobbying companies and governments, consumer pressure and mobilising members of the general public. And we take peaceful direct action to protect our Earth and promote solutions for a green and peaceful future.

Greenpeace UK’s Forests & Food campaign tackles the unjust and destructive nature of industrial meat and dairy production. This system is driving the climate and biodiversity crises and oppressing communities, while maximising the profits of a handful of corporations. It sits within a global economic model that fuels inequity and profits from systemic racism – particularly from the assault on the rights of Indigenous People in forest areas.

The climate impacts of industrialised food production are so severe that the biggest meat companies do as much damage as fossil fuel giants. Parts of the Amazon rainforest now emit more carbon than they absorb. Without significantly reducing meat and dairy, emissions from the global food system alone would make it impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C.

The ash in Bad Taste represents the big business of animal agriculture and the damage and violence it perpetuates. The ash is remnants of burnt Amazon rainforest, which along with other forests across Brazil, is torn down and burned to make space for cattle and to grow soya that is shipped to countries like the UK to produce meat and dairy found on supermarket shelves and restaurant kitchens.

Feeding grains to farm animals for human consumption is grossly inefficient. It takes an area of land the size of nearly two million football pitches to grow soya to feed the UK’s farm animals each year. Globally, feeding crops to farmed animals wastes enough food to feed billions of people. If we reduce the amount of grains and beans we feed to farmed animals and instead use them directly as humans, current croplands can feed a lot more people. Reducing our reliance on agrochemical fertilisers and pesticides would lead to healthier soils and more wildlife. On top of that, a shift to more plant-based diets would help do the essential work of reducing emissions.

Greenpeace UK is calling for a reduction of industrial meat and dairy of 70% by 2030. The transition away from industrial meat and dairy requires support and incentives to be in place for farmers to produce food for all more sustainably; freeing up land to restore nature in the UK; a commitment to ensuring accessible, affordable, and nutritious food that respects cultural and religious traditions; and adequate support for households on the lowest incomes. Looking globally, this reduction must go hand in hand with protecting and upholding the rights of Indigenous and traditional communities and stopping imports of all agricultural commodities like animal feed that are linked to the destruction of forests overseas.

This project is sister to Greenpeace’s new Movement Support Fund and Open Warehouse initiative – supporting bold, justice-focused, grassroots work. Groups can apply for financial grants to support their projects or to use the Greenpeace warehouse and workshop to develop their campaigns and activism. The Movement Support Fund was launched alongside The Runnymede Trust x Greenpeace report which explores how the climate crisis is rooted in systemic racism. And of course, the meat and dairy industry is part of what feeds the climate crisis.

The collaborative workshop

  • Following the open call submissions, up to 10 shortlisted applicants will be invited to a paid workshop to explore the campaign landscape of the industrial food system in the UK.
  • The workshop will explore and define what we mean by ‘impact’ and ‘intervention’ and ‘action’ and ‘direct action’, to enable applicants to develop proposals that meet the selection criteria and wider project aims, and explore to what extent they may wish to be directly involved in project delivery.
  • The workshop will be facilitated by independent practitioners, and attended by the core project team, Greenpeace specialists including our executive director/s, and a campaigner from Brazil, and external issue experts from fields not limited to art, activism, grassroots organising, campaigning, food, land and climate justice, research and politics.

Grant package

Budget

  • 3 x £10,000 grants are available to cover artists’ and activists’ time and fees. Please note the fee is £10,000 whether you are applying as an individual or collective.
  • A total production budget of up to £45,000 is available for distribution across the three ideas, depending on individual project requirements.

Materials

  • The three projects will be given an archive box of ash from burnt Amazon rainforest in Brazil (approximately 1 cubic foot). Artists and activists may decide how the ash is incorporated. If not in the final work, it must be demonstrably embedded in the creative process.

Other support

  • Mentoring, and strategic and practical support to develop proposals into impactful direction actions
  • Artistic and curatorial guidance to develop proposals into impactful artworks, creative actions and interventions
  • Legal advice and risk assessment support, tailored to lived experience
  • Access to production, collaborative logistical expertise, equipment and specific training where possible
  • Access to collaborations with specialist activist teams (boat and climb) will be available for one of the projects if appropriate
  • Documentation and archival quality prints of the work
  • A bespoke Greenpeace nonviolent direct action (NVDA) training will be a mandatory part of the development process

Selection criteria and process

Ideas submitted through the open call will be reviewed by the core project team and relevant subject experts using the following criteria:

  1. Prioritise the perspectives of Black, Indigenous, people of colour, and/or, the working class and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds above others.
  2. Demonstrate strong impact potential and understanding of the power dynamics of the industrial meat and dairy system.
  3. Push the boundaries of art-activism with creative ingenuity and artistic excellence.
  4. Activate or animate the public’s imagination, and or physical spaces in the public, corporate, and or private realm.

Following the collaborative workshop, fully developed proposals will be reviewed by the core project team, Greenpeace staff, and independent representatives from across art and culture, activism, campaigning and food, land and climate justice spaces, who will support us to identify the most impactful and high-quality artworks, creative actions and interventions. Artist and activist, Tania Bruguera will join the panel reviewing proposals.

Eligibility criteria

The open call opportunity is open to individuals, collectives and groups who:

  • Self-identify as Black, Indigenous, people of colour, and/or working-class, or are from a low socioeconomic background, in recognition that there are inequities built into the industrial food system
  • Have an established art and/or activist practice, and experience of creating, producing and or delivering interventions
  • Are over 18+
  • Currently living in the UK
  • Have access to a UK bank account

Project requirements

  • All projects must take place in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland)
  • Participants must be available for a one-day collaborative Bad Taste workshop on 9 February 2023. Participants will be paid, and travel expenses will be reimbursed.
  • Participants must be willing to participate in Greenpeace’s nonviolent direct action training (one day) during the project development period, after grants have been awarded.
  • Participants should be comfortable with collaborative working and have an open and positive approach to shared learning.

Please note the project will not be able to support:

  • Commercial advertising and or, creative agencies
  • NGOs, or any voluntourism or initiatives that benefit the organiser(s) more than the communities they seek to serve
  • Greenpeace employees, or freelancers, who have worked with Greenpeace between 2019-2022

Access

  • Following the shortlisting process, Greenpeace will ensure the collaborative workshop is fully accessible to participants
  • If you have any access and or support requirements to be able to attend the workshop, please share at submission stage, and Greenpeace will be in contact to discuss this with you after the shortlisting process
  • Where possible, Greenpeace will cover reasonable childcare costs to support in-person attendance at the workshop, and any required in-person collaboration sessions during project development and NVDA training. To be discussed with shortlisted applicants
  • Covid safety will be taken into account and the workshop will take place online, if necessary

Key dates

  • 28 November 2022: Open call live
  • 15 January 2023: Open call closes (midnight)
  • 1, 8, 15 December and 5, 12 January: zoom Q&A sessions available
  • 27 January: shortlisted applicants notified
  • 9 February: workshop (1 day)
  • 5 March: project proposal deadline
  • 20 March: grants awarded
  • 27 March: project development begins
  • April: nonviolent direct action training (1 day, TBC date)
  • May to August: project development and production cont.
  • September to November: project delivery across the UK
  • December: project debrief

*Please note that the project delivery schedule is subject to change depending on project requirements and external circumstances.

How to apply

Share your idea with us by completing the form on the application page. If you are unable to make a written submission, you can send us your answers as voice memos via WhatsApp.

Here are the questions you’ll be asked on the form.

Tell us about your initial idea and approach to the project (max 200 words)

Guidance: It’s helpful for us to understand who might be involved, where the project might take place in the UK, and why.

Share some images or sketches to explain your idea (optional)

Guidance: You can share up to three links to your images or sketches here. If you need to share files rather than links, send them from the email address you provide on the form to badtaste@greenpeace.org.

What impact do you anticipate your idea will have? (max 200 words)

Guidance: We are interested in how you feel your project idea will confront the UK’s industrial meat and dairy system and speak truth to power. Please also note that there will be an opportunity to explore the industrial food system in more detail at the workshop. We do not expect you to be a subject expert.

What support or resources do you think you’ll need from Greenpeace to realise your project? (max 200 words)

Guidance: We invite ideas that are ambitious, but might need considerable logistical/action coordination support from our specialist teams, for example, our climb and boat team, or fabrication support, etc. We also welcome ideas for interventions that are more self-sufficient.

Tell us about your work. (max 200 words)

Guidance: We are interested to hear more about your creative practice and process, how this might relate to your proposed idea, and working collaboratively with Greenpeace.

Share some examples of your work

Guidance: Please share up to three links to your previous work that you feel are relevant. This could be a website, portfolio, or links to your favourite past projects. If the links require passwords, please include them here. If you need to share files rather than links, send them from the email address you provide on the form to badtaste@greenpeace.org.

Tell us about your access needs

Guidance: If you have any access and/or other support requirements to be able to attend the in-person workshop for shortlisted applicants in London, please detail them below, so we can ensure the session is fully accessible.

You will also be asked to confirm your eligibility, in the form of tick boxes

  • You self-identify as Black, Indigenous, people of colour, and/or working-class, or from a low socioeconomic background
  • You are over 18
  • You currently live in the UK
  • You have access to a UK bank account
  • You are open to collaborative working
  • You can attend an in-person workshop in London on 9 February 2023

Got a question?

If you are interested in the open call opportunity, but are not sure how to bring your artistic practice into activism or the context of an action, or how to develop your activism artistically, or have any other questions, please arrange to discuss your idea with us.

The core team (art-activism specialist, senior campaigner, solidarity coordinator, and arts advisor) will be available for 20 minute Q&A chats on the following days throughout the duration of the open call, online via zoom:

  • Thursday 1 December
  • Thursday 8 December
  • Thursday 15 December
  • Thursday 5 January
  • Thursday 12 January

Book a slot by emailing badtaste@greenpeace.org detailing your preferred time between 9am and 7pm, and a summary of your query so that we can ensure the right people are present. We may need to reply by email if we become oversubscribed.

Press and media enquiries

For project-related press and media enquiries please contact press.uk@greenpeace.org.


Frequently asked questions

What does Greenpeace mean by direct action?

Direct action is the physical act of stopping an immediate wrong at the scene of the crime, for example occupying a tree to prevent it being felled. It involves ordinary people doing extraordinary things to confront those in positions of power with their responsibility for stopping environmental destruction. Greenpeace acts to raise the level and quality of public debate. Above all, we act to provoke action from those with the power and responsibility to make change happen.

Guiding all of our actions, always, is a commitment to nonviolence, personal responsibility, bearing witness and taking action based on conscience. Everyone on every Greenpeace action is trained in the principles of nonviolent direct action (NVDA). We will hold a bespoke training to explore NVDA principles alongside lived-experience of the grant holders.

Our specialist climb and boat teams allow us to take action and bear witness at the scenes of environmental crimes in remote and difficult-to-reach places. When taking physical action to stop an environmental wrong isn’t possible, ‘bearing witness’ through one’s physical presence at the scene of the crime is another way to act on conscience and remind those responsible that they have a higher responsibility than the corporate bottom line.

What is the difference between a direct action, or an artistic or creative intervention?

At its basic level, an intervention is an active attempt to change or influence a system of power in some way.

As practitioners at Greenpeace and in art-activism projects outside of Greenpeace we have used ‘direct action’, ‘artistic intervention’ and ‘creative intervention’ to describe our work – generally describing pieces that are made and placed/performed without permission, with varying levels of risk attached.

We would like to invite artist-activists to define their work.

Why does the open call prioritise the perspectives of Black, Indigenous and people of colour, working class, and or low socioeconomic income backgrounds?

In recognition that there are inequities built into the industrial food system, this project prioritises the perspectives of artists and activists who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, people of colour and/or working class.

By listening to, and bringing in these perspectives, we are looking to – in the context of the industrial meat and dairy complex – address questions of land ownership and land use, agricultural practices, distribution of technology and resources, and workers’ rights.

Greenpeace UK is also working to confront its own position as a global North office within an international organisation, to re-evaluate the importance of social justice at the heart of tackling the environmental emergency, and drive through its commitments to tackle systemic racism.

Are there any risks associated with creative activism?

Greenpeace will support anyone taking part in Bad Taste to make informed choices around risk and activism. We bring 50 years’ global experience of taking direct action, but will be guided by participants’ lived experience to adapt our existing processes to work for you.

As part of the support package, Greenpeace will provide bespoke nonviolent direct action training to all grant recipients. As part of robust internal risk assessment processes, Greenpeace considers legal advice on all its activities from trusted criminal and civil lawyers. We expect to work directly with artists/grant holders and any associated partners to ensure legal, civil, and public liability risks are clear and fully understood by all parties.

All artists and activists will receive legal and specialist risk assessment at key points of the projects’ development. We recognise that the lived experience Black, Indigenous and people of colour have with the police is additionally challenging, and therefore artists/activists can choose to deliver their own interventions, collaborate on actions design with Greenpeace logisticians, activists and specialist teams (such as climbers or boat teams), or make work anonymously that Greenpeace delivers, without personally attending the site of intervention. We can talk through options informally, securely, and in person, revisiting as necessary throughout the process.

How do you define ‘an established practice’?

Artists, activists and hybrid artist-activists should be able to demonstrate an established practice which may look different across disciplines, including but not limited to:

  • A mid-career artist with experience in making work in the public realm, and working at scale
  • Extensive demonstrable creative activism experience, this might mean fewer large projects or many smaller projects
  • Transferable skills in either area or other relevant creative expertise, as defined by you.

How has Greenpeace worked with artists before?

Work that sits at the intersection of art and activism is firmly part of Greenpeace’s creative practice. Greenpeace’s in-house interventions are developed collaboratively with colleagues creatively facilitated by arts-background specialists, and populated by mixed discipline campaign and communication experts.

Greenpeace UK also often brings in artists and makers of all kinds at the ideas and delivery stage of our work and campaigning activities. In recent years we have collaborated with Fiona Banner on our oceans work, Wolfgang Buttress on our bees campaign, and John Akomfrah has integrated Greenpeace footage from our archive into his work. In recent years, Greenpeace UK’s action pieces, props, tutorials and archive materials have also been shown at the V&A’s Disobedient Objects, Somerset House and Turner Contemporary.

What do you mean by ‘site-specific’?

Site-specific means that the work is created with a particular location in mind, from the very start, as opposed to something that could take place anywhere. However, we are open to proposals with physical locations and sites in mind, as well as proposals where we collaborate with artists and activists to find the best site that will create the most impact.

How has Greenpeace UK worked with grassroots activists before?

This project will be the most co-created version of activism that Greenpeace UK has undertaken to date, and we’re excited to learn from a variety of approaches to activism, through the Bad Taste project.

While Greenpeace has a history of supporting grassroots activists and the wider movement behind the scenes, with both logistics capacity and financial support, this is distinct from collaboration and hasn’t been widely accessible. We have made our offer of support to intersectional movements more accessible with the Movement Support Fund and Open Warehouse initiatives launched last year, alongside the Greenpeace x Runnymede Trust report: Confronting Injustice: Racism and the Environmental Emergency.

In terms of campaigning, Greenpeace has collaborated with grassroots organisers, for example People Dem Collective on The Big Plastics Count, working with their Lived Experience Crew in the hope of engaging with new communities, particularly those who have felt they’ve not been invited into the space of environmental campaigning before.

Traditionally, Greenpeace direct actions are almost entirely delivered by volunteers, but designed by staff – it is a system built on trust and a nurtured community of activists, but we recognise that it is not always an inclusive one. All our volunteers who take part in direct action have participated in specific nonviolent direct action training. Many of our volunteers and staff are also part of grassroots networks.

Greenpeace staff involved in Bad Taste have also been involved in grassroots activism and art activism outside of their employment, or before arriving at Greenpeace. Some examples: Liberate Tate, Reclaim the Power, No Dash for Gas, Climate Camp, Sisters’ Uncut, UK Uncut, Copwatch.

Where is the ash from in Brazil?

The ash was gathered by activists after forest fires in the region of Apuí in the heart of the Amazon – for their security, we cannot reveal the exact location. The area has been aggressively and illegally deforested over decades by industrial farmers for cattle and soya plantations.

Why is the project called Bad Taste?

The pairing of these words raises important themes relating to the industrial food system and its role in the climate and nature crisis. ‘Taste’ provides an association with eating, the mouth, digestion etc. ‘Bad’ adds a layer of critique or alarm. Something done ‘in bad taste’ is unacceptable or offensive; as is the cycle and consequence of the industrial food system and its impact on people, climate and nature. You might read the name as a provocative statement or with more lightness or humour; we chose a name which makes space for all kinds of responses.

If my idea is not taken forward, are there any other ways I can get involved and or, support Greenpeace UK?

If your idea is not right for this project, but feels right for a future project we would love to get back in touch with you to see if you would still like to collaborate with us and discuss terms around that.

If you had an idea for a smaller community project around eg climate justice or food sovereignty, you might be eligible for our Movement Support Fund. The Movement Support Fund provides funding for your project, event, initiative, research or campaign that advocates for social, racial and/or environmental justice through an intersectional lens.

References

Examples of impactful artistic interventions:

Resources: