The New Pornographers and Oxfam America team to maintain awareness for Gulf Coast oil spill; debut music video

By jlee

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Boston, MA – Today Oxfam America announced the release of a music video it crafted for critically acclaimed rock band The New Pornographers. The video – for, “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk” (www.oxfamamerica.org/sweettalk), from the band’s recent album Together – tells the story of the aftermath of the Gulf Coast oil spill in Louisiana and Oxfam's advocacy efforts on behalf of communities that rely on the coast for their livelihoods.

The New Pornographers saw the plight of Gulf Coast residents rapidly falling out of news headlines.  To help maintain and raise awareness for the affects of the oil spill, the band partnered with Oxfam and the organization’s Emmy-Award winning director to create a video for “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk.”

“That’s one of the main reasons for this video…to do something for a situation that might be falling out of the news,” said Carl Newman of The New Pornographers.  “But it’s still a big problem that people need to remember…both cleaning up Katrina and the oil spill.”

In March 2010, one month before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Oxfam launched its Coastal Communities Initiative which focuses on elevating the voices of socially-vulnerable Gulf Coast communities in the protection of the coast, which is their home and source of livelihoods.  Oxfam says this disaster has highlighted the fact that in the Gulf Coast, livelihoods, poverty, and vulnerability to disaster are intertwined with the health of the environment.

“To see New Orleans and the outlying areas go through Katrina and then have the Gulf oil spill a couple of years later, it’s just such a devastating series of events,” said Neko Case of The New Pornographers. “And there’s a lot of culture, and a lot of peoples’ hearts in that place… we really need to support them and show them we haven’t forgotten.”

According to Oxfam, fines levied against BP could result in billions of investment dollars, and a real opportunity to aid the region.  Oxfam is building a campaign with local partners for the region’s long-term restoration and recovery. The focus of this work will be on mobilizing support for issues including job creation and restoration.

“The Gulf Coast oil spill is making year-end lists right now as one of the biggest stories of the year.  But come January 2, we can’t let the most vulnerable people in this area be forgotten,” said Bob Ferguson, senior advisor for music outreach at Oxfam America.  “We're thrilled that The New Pornographers are working with us to make sure that doesn’t happen. Oxfam America's music outreach has proven to be a great way for us to connect with music fans, spread the word of our important work and find new support.”