Statement regarding Dark Mofo act "Union Flag"

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Like many in our community, Art Processors was shocked to hear the announcement of Spanish artist Santiago Sierra’s piece Union Flag as a major act for this year’s Dark Mofo festival and we welcome the subsequent decision to cancel the work.

The work and decision to program it directly opposes who we are as a company and what we stand for. Art Processors is proud to partner with First Nations people, and we work hard to listen, learn, and make sure their voices are central in telling their stories. 

Several years ago, we met with the University of Melbourne to learn how Art Processors could be involved in Awaken, an exhibition featuring First Nations belongings from the Donald Thomson Collection.

The overall vision for Awaken was one of inclusion and community. The aim was to foster a greater understanding of the cultures, knowledge and values of several Indigenous communities and language groups, including the Pintupi in the Western Desert, and communities in the diverse cultural regions of Arnhem Land and Cape York. 

It was our first project collaborating closely with First Nations peoples and their communities, and it started us on a journey toward actively seeking new opportunities to collaborate with First Nations artists and organisations.

The announcement of Union Flag caused pain and deeply hurt many in our community, and it is clear that by truly working with and listening to First Nations peoples this could have been avoided.

Art Processors does not currently work with DarkLab, the producers of Dark Mofo festival. Art Processors, DarkLab and our long-term client, the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) are all separate entities. 

Art Processors stands with the wider, incredible storytelling community we are privileged to be a part of. Helping to share people’s stories—including those of First Nations peoples—in a respectful and authentic way is what we do and will continue to do now and into the future.

Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the many Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and honour Elders past, present and emerging. We respect their deep, enduring connection to their lands, waterways and surrounding clan groups since time immemorial. We cherish the richness of First Nations Peoples’ artistic and cultural expressions.