Coldplay fans to be a part of groundbreaking new video to tackle land grabs

Published: 18th February 2013

Oxfam's GROW Campaign is asking Coldplay fans to take part in a groundbreaking global music project to highlight the global injustice of land grabs.

Coldplay fans and supporters will be asked to submit film and photographs which echo the dislocation and displacement of land grabs. Coldplay’s music video and film director Mat Whitecross will stitch together the submissions into an exclusive crowd sourced video set against the backdrop of Coldplay's famous song ‘In My Place’.

People are being asked to move a favorite, personal or familiar item from their home to somewhere it does not belong or do a personal, every day or familiar activity that they’d usually do at home, in totally the wrong place.

Mat Whitecross said: “I wanted to create the feeling of people being out of place in order to illustrate the suffering that so many people experience because of land grabs.

This unique music video will help highlight the injustice of land grabs. Every year governments, banks or private investors buy huge plots of land in some of the poorest countries in the world. Often the people who live on the land, and rely on it to feed their families, do not have a say when is sold and do not receive compensation.  In the last decade an area eight times the size of the UK has been sold off globally.

Oxfam is pioneering the approach of fan-sourcing for the film which will launch in Spring. The film is part of Oxfam’s GROW campaign which is calling on the World Bank to take a lead in the fight against land grabs.

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

Oxfam’s GROW Campaign spokesperson Ben Phillips said: “This unique music video will help highlight the global injustice of land grabs. Last year Coldplay invited Oxfam on their world tour 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.”

The deadline for film and photographic submissions is 20 March 2013. For more information and to submit content go to:

This unique music video will help highlight the global injustice of land grabs. Last year Coldplay invited Oxfam on their world tour and we were hugely motivated by the overwhelming support of fans all over the world.
Ben Phillips

Notes to editors

About Coldplay and Oxfam:

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 acoustic version of 'In My Place' is from a performance recorded at Absolute Radio’s studios in One Golden Square in 2002. Courtesy of Absolute Radio.

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 bio:

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.

Contact information

For interviews or images please contact Oxfam International Press Officer Anna Ratcliff on +44 7796 993 288 or