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Oxfam asks Coldplay fans to be a part of a global campaign for change

Posted by Claire Wilkinson Senior PR Press Officer

18th Feb 2013

Oxfam is looking for Coldplay fans to take part in a groundbreaking global music project to campaign against one of the world's greatest human injustices.

Coldplay's music video and film director Mat Whitecross will curate an exclusive crowd sourced video stitching together thousands of pieces of film and photography submitted by fans and supporters to an incredible acoustic version of Coldplay's famous track 'In My Place'. The voices shared will become part of a unique music video to help the charity campaign to end the trauma inflicted on thousands of families because of land grabs. 

Every year Governments, banks or private investors buy huge plots of land in some of the poorest countries in the world for profit. This land is often home to people who rely on it to grow food and feed their families. Thousands of families are being evicted from the land, leaving them homeless and with no means to piece their lives back together.  Land grabs are forcing people and their possessions out, forcing them from the place they call home.

Mat Whitecross and Oxfam are encouraging dedicated Coldplay fans and friends of the charity to echo this idea of dislocation and displacement in their own way in the form of creative video or photographic content by 20 March 2013. People are being asked to move something favourite, personal or familiar from their home to somewhere it doesn't belong. Alternatively, they could do something personal, everyday, familiar that they'd usually do at home, in totally the wrong place. For more information visit

Mat Whitecross says: "Having a home is hugely important for people to feel safe and in a place they can thrive, which is at the very heart of the song. I wanted to somehow create this feeling of people being out of place in order to illustrate the suffering that so many people experience because of land grabs."

Oxfam is pioneering the approach of fan-sourcing for this global campaign film which will launch in April as the World Bank convenes its Annual Spring Meetings. The World Bank is in a unique position as an investor in land and an adviser to governments and companies on buying and selling land. With this film Oxfam wants to show world leaders that there is a growing global movement demanding decisive action to stop land grabs. 

Mat Whitecross continues: "I have worked with Coldplay for a long time so know how dedicated and passionate their fans are. The idea of harnessing this to create an original and powerful crowd sourced campaigning tool is one I'm excited about." 

Oxfam's Campaigns Director Ben Philips said: "The World Bank should be in no doubt that more and more people want to see it take action in the fight against land grabs. Last year Coldplay invited Oxfam on their world tour with the GROW campaign and we were hugely motivated by the overwhelming support of fans all over the world. Campaigning is all about putting yourself in someone else's place we know that when we unite and stand up against global injustice we can make a real difference. "

To submit your content today visit:

Notes to editors

For more information, to arrange interviews or for requesting images please contact:

Claire Wilkinson
01865 4733648

Rachel Cawood
01865 4732059
07557 588506

Photos of Coldplay and volunteer campaigners on tour with the band can be found here:

British band Coldplay have been among Oxfam's most high profile and vocal supporters of the last decade. Since 2003, they have used their worldwide success to help support Oxfam campaigning in over 50 countries.  In 2012 Oxfam were invited on Coldplay's year long tour with their GROW campaign which aims to secure a future where everyone has enough to eat. During the year Oxfam worked alongside 1300 volunteers who helped gain the support of over 43,000 Coldplay fans and reach out to a further 121 million people online. Collectively, such a huge number of petition signatures resulted in campaigning wins in the UK and US, as Coldplay fans told US government to reform the food aid sent overseas and the UK government to support small scale farmers in order to lead the way in providing food for our future population.

This special acoustic version of In My Place was recorded for Absolute Radio in 2002. Usage is by kind permission of Absolute Radio 2013. 

Mat Whitecross bio: Mat, who like Oxfam grew up in Oxford, has directed music videos for Coldplay since his university days, and his video 'Paradise' recently won the MTV VMA for best rock video and has 184 million views on Youtube. He has also directed videos for The Rolling Stones, Take That and Jay-Z.  

After editing on '9 Songs' and 'Scott Walker: 30 Century Man', Mat Whitecross co-directed 'The Road to Guantanamo' with Michael Winterbottom, winning the Silver Bear at Berlin for Best Director in 2006. In 2009, Whitecross directed with Winterbottom again on 'The Shock Doctrine', an adaptation of Naomi Klein's book. The same year, he travelled to Thailand to film 'Moving to Mars', a documentary about Karen refugees fleeing from Burma to the UK, which won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary in 2010. Whitecross's next feature 'Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll' was released to critical acclaim, and nominated for Best Actor and Music at the 2010 BAFTAs. Starring Andy Serkis, Naomie Harris, Olivia Williams and Ray Winstone, it tells the surreal story of punk legend Ian Dury. His following film 'Ashes', a road movie thriller, starring Ray Winstone and Jim Sturgess is due release later this year. He has just completed 'Spike Island', a coming-of-age drama set against the backdrop of the Stone Roses' era-defining gig of the same name. He is currently shooting 'Fleming', a drama for Sky Atlantic, starring Dominic Cooper as Ian Fleming. On this project, Mat is working with the editor Paul Monaghan.

Paul Monaghan biog: Paul first worked with Mat Whitecross during their time together at Revolution Films. In 2002 they were both Production Assistants on Michael Winterbottom's film In This World. He began working as an Assistant Editor on Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm in 2003 and went on to work on Nick Broomfield's Ghosts in 2005 and then with Michael Winterbottom once again for A Mighty Heart in 2006.

Michael Winterbottom's Genova was Paul's first feature film as an editor and he went on to edit The Shock Doctrine in 2009 which Winterbottom co-directed with Mat Whitecross.  Meanwhile, he also edited Moving to Mars for Mat Whitecross in 2008 - a film that went on to win the Grierson Award for Best Documentary. 

Recently Paul has edited a number of feature films and documentaries, including Everyday for Michael Winterbottom, A Fallible Girl for Director Conrad Clark which premiered at this year's Rotterdam Film Festival and Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, a feature documentary that will be showing on the festival circuit in 2013 and will be broadcast on PBS's American Masters series later in the year. 

Blog post written by Claire Wilkinson

Senior PR Press Officer

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