Nan Goldin is campaigning against drug-funding art billionaires

The photographer has launched an organisation for Oxycontin addicts

After opening up about her “narrow” escape from drug addiction, photographer Nan Goldin is launching a campaign targeting the Sackler family, the art philanthropists behind the manufacturing of the highly addictive opioid Oxycontin.

Goldin’s new association, Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (P.A.I.N.), plans to hold the Sacklers accountable for their role in the opioid crisis as the owners of Purdue Pharma.

P.A.I.N. will share photographs and videos via social media to “illustrate the impact of the crisis on individuals, families, and communities”, along with leveraging the hashtag #ShameonSackler to help pressure the pharma family to use the wealth generated from America’s opioid addiction for education and rehab facilities.

Since any money received is effectively funded by the opioid epidemic, the organisation is also calling on museums and universities to refuse future donations from the Sacklers, who have a museum named after them at Harvard, and an escalator that holds their moniker at the Tate Modern.

Goldin admitted her battles with the drug, having spent two-and-a-half months in rehab last year, in a letter for the January issue of Artforum, stating: “It was originally prescribed for surgery. Though I took it as directed I got addicted overnight. It was the cleanest drug I’d ever met.”

Despite having reported no increase in the level of pain over the past 15 years, the number of prescription opioids handed out has quadrupled during that time. Purdue has generated an estimated $35 billion of those sales; and still pulls in around $3 billion a year for the Slacker family, who are thought to be the 19th wealthiest family in the US.

Goldin has asserted, in reference to the AIDS epidemic, that she “can’t stand by and watch another generation disappear.”

Follow P.A.I.N here