"Vuvuzelas for BP" Sending 1,000 Vuvuzelas to BP's Headquarters in London: An Interview With the Project Creator
Adam Quirk is a Park Slope-based video producer behind “Vuvuzelas for BP,” a Kickstarter project that’s been getting some traction lately for its aim to buy a shitload of vuvuzelas, pass them out around BP headquarters in London, and have people blow on them all day, every day, until BP fixes the gushing oil spill in the Gulf. Quite frankly, it’s genius. His goal of raising $2,000 is nearly 75% complete, and with 7 days to go on the Kickstarter timeline, it’s looking quite likely that this will happen.
We reached out to Adam to get the story and ask a few questions after seeing a link to the project blow up on Reddit. Adam told us, “I’m very happy that people have gotten behind this. I think the response has been so positive mainly because it’s seemingly a fun mixture of memes, and the end result is a net positive in that BP gets real-world pressure, and the Gulf Fund gets real money.”
FREEwilliamsburg: What gave you the idea?
Adam Quirk: It was inspired by the incredible annoyance of millions of people by the vuvuzela drone on all the World Cup broadcasts, and the seemingly cold indifference postured by Tony Hayward in his Congressional hearings. I am a video remix artist, so it’s sort of my job to combine memes and current events to make new things.
FW: How has the internet community’s (namely: reddit) attention, feedback, and/or support affected your plans & expectations?
AQ: I learned from the Reddit community that there are cheaper places to find vuvuzelas, so that affected my budget. Many people have also volunteered to play the vuvuzelas for free, so the cost of labor has gone down to near zero. Although I do plan on paying a few people to manage the crowd and distribute vuvuzelas.
FW: Will you be coordinating the entire operation from Brooklyn or going out to the UK?
AQ: Most likely staying here, plenty of volunteers and acquaintances have offered to help on the ground in the UK. If I end up having to go over there, I’ll pay for my ticket myself.
FW: What do you think of the people who say some US oil production goes towards making plastics (and therefore, vuvuzelas)?
AQ: Oil also makes computers and toothbrushes. I am not protesting oil as a commodity, it is necessary to our society. This protest is about gross negligence and greed.
FW: What do you hope the outcome of the event will be?
AQ: Hoping to keep pressure on BP from the public. Twitter and the Internet make it easy for people to complain, but in all likelihood the BP top brass are not scanning Twitter searches for negative mentions and fretting away about it. You have to bring your disdain to where they live if you want them to pay any attention.
In the end, Adam adds that he’s noticed the bi-partisan attention he’s received, saying “this seems to be neither a Democratic or Republican issue, so it seems like I’m not getting too much pushback. I can only assume that “real” protesters have to put up with a lot more crap than I have.”
To support Vuvuzelas for BP, head on over to Kickstarter and back the project. The minimum pledge is $1, featured is $10, and with it, you’ll “get the satisfaction of knowing you just bought a vuvuzela that will undoubtedly frustrate some smug oil baron,” as Adam writes on the page.