Politics & Culture

Nan Goldin Led an Anti-Opioid Protest at the Met

The photographer and activist joined several others in a "die-in" staged in the museum's Sackler Wing.
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It's no secret that the opioid crisis in America is dire. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids." Thankfully there are people like Nan Goldin and her organization P.A.I.N. ( Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) who just recently led a protest at New York City's Metropolitan Museum. 

Over 100 people showed up to the Met's Sackler Wing, where activists displayed banners and scattered empty pill bottles throughout the moat at the Temple of Dundar. Demonstrators also staged a die-in where several of them began, as the name suggests, lying down as if dead.

Goldin's decision to stage the protest inside the Sackler Wing was a calculated one. The notoriously wealthy Sackler family own Purdue Pharma, one of the largest opioid manufacturing companies in the United States. Upon learning this, Goldin decided to focus on calling out cultural institutions like the Met in the hopes that they will no longer accept funding from similar benefactors. 

According to Artnews, shouts of "Shame on Sackler" and "Sacklers lie, people die" filled the museum. It's the type of activism we need now more than ever. A necessary cry for help. It was the first official protest demonstration from Goldin and P.A.I.N., and while security may have cleared them out, for now, it's hardly the last we will see of them. “We’re just getting started,” she told The New York Times. “We’ll be back.”

Nan Goldin

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