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British rock band Coldplay has been among Oxfam's most high profile and vocal supporters of the last decade. They have used their worldwide success to help Oxfam campaign in over 50 countries.
In 2012 alone, Coldplay helped Oxfam’s GROW Campaign messages reach over 100 million people worldwide thanks to their social media networks and Oxfam’s presence on their world tour.
Coldplay has donated an incredible acoustic version of their track ‘In My Place’ for a new Oxfam campaign video, and we’ve teamed up with the award-winning director Mat Whitecross to create it. We asked Coldplay fans and friends of Oxfam, to star in it and help create a unique crowd-sourced video for the GROW campaign:
For many years the band's main focus had been support for Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign. In 2002, Chris Martin travelled to Haiti where he met coffee and rice farmers and saw the effects of unfair trade first hand. In 2003, the band performed in Mexico at a time which coincided with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Summit in Cancun. They took time out to meet Mexican corn farmers and lobby trade ministers attending the WTO conference. Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland met WTO Director General, Supachai Panitchpakdi, to petition him to change the rules of trade that are rigged against the poor.
The band also delivered over three million signatures calling on governments to make trade fair, and Jonny Buckland made a presentation to the newly formed G20 group of poor nations.
In 2005, Chris Martin visited Ghana to find out more about how trade injustice affects poor farmers. He talked to farmers and tribal chiefs about the problems they face and gave an impromptu speech at the inauguration of the Peasant Farmers Association.
Coldplay has drawn an enormous amount of attention to the Make Trade Fair campaign. Throughout the campaign Chris regularly wore a ‘Make Trade Fair' T-shirt and sported ‘MTF' and = (the symbol of the campaign) on his hand and piano. The band has pushed for making world trade rules work for poor countries in many media interviews and encouraged thousands of fans to get involved.
The band invited Oxfam campaigners to talk to their fans at concerts throughout their 2003 ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head' tour, their 2005 ‘Twisted Logic' tour and their mammoth ‘Viva La Vida' World Tour in 2008/9.
Coldplay has also performed at concerts for Oxfam, including the Fairplay concert at the Astoria and, most recently, the Hope for Haiti Now benefit concert in the US. They have publicly backed Oxfam's Hope for Haiti Appeal, calling for funds to help those affected by January's devastating earthquake. Coldplay donated Chris Martin's ‘Viva La Vida' tour jacket, signed by all of the band, to an Oxfam eBay auction to raise funds for the appeal.
Chris said: "I visited Haiti with Oxfam a few years ago. It's a country of extreme poverty and brutal living conditions. Most people in Port-au-Prince live in tin shacks. The earthquake that has struck Haiti will have turned the city into an unimaginable hell."