Tim Winton critical of fossil fuel industry arts sponsorship

28 February 2022

Perth based Australian writer Tim Winton, and four times Miles Franklin Award winner, has spoken out against the over reliance the local arts community has on sponsorship from the fossil fuel industry, during a speech at Perth festival’s Writers Weekend.

“I do want us to acknowledge how things still work here … how captive [the arts and cultural sectors] are,” he told the Writers Weekend audience. “I suspect that to some of the folks who were involved in decisions around that production, all of them good people I’m sure, the dissonance just wasn’t audible. And that just shows you how normal it is, how safe the fossil giants still feel here in the wild west.”

Winton singled out a performance of Become Ocean, an orchestral composition by John Luther Adams, scheduled for Saturday 5 March at the Festival, which has already attracted the ire of a local activist arts group on account of sponsorship arrangements for the performance.