Dark Mofo cancels blood-soaked flag artwork

Tasmania’s Dark Mofo festival has cancelled plans to show a Union Jack flag soaked in the blood of First Nations peoples from colonised territories.

“We made a mistake and take full responsibility,” the festival’s creative director, Leigh Carmichael, said in a statement. “We apologise to all First Nations people for any hurt that has been caused. We are sorry.”

Spanish artist Santiago Sierra.Credit:Getty Images

The project, by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra, was announced on Friday but drew swift criticism from Indigenous artists and activists. Sierra had invited people from countries and territories colonised by the British Empire to donate a small amount of blood for the exhibit.

Those opposed to the project said it was an undergraduate attempt at subverting colonisation and that First Nations people had already given enough blood to the British Empire.

Dark Mofo stood its ground on Monday, stating self-expression was a “fundamental human right”. But by Tuesday afternoon it had cancelled the project.

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