Just weeks prior to the commencement of the annual Dark MOFO winter arts and culture festival, various animal rights activists were contacted by the media concerning plans to feature controversial artist Hermann Nitsch and his performance piece 150.Action.
The piece necessitated the slaughter of a bull in a local slaughterhouse the day before the event itself, raising the ire of activists as well as the general public. Despite a petition raising almost 20 000 signatures in opposition as well as repeated offers to David Walsh to rescue and rehome the bull, the event unfortunately went ahead.
However, the targeted campaign by ALT, supported by Animals Tasmania, AJP Tasmania and Brightside Farm Sanctuary, was instrumental in maintaining media attention on animal rights issues in Tasmania for a prolonged period of time. Coverage was extensive across social media, TV, radio and print, including several international publications.
Our protest action was also highly successful, with around 100 people attending. We held up images of bulls, both photographic and artistic along with handmirrors to symbolically reflect societal attitudes towards animals straight back at the attendees queued outside.
And due to our consistent opposition to 150.Action creating confusion around ticketing a mere fraction of ticketholders showed up, only 700 of an anticipated 2500 people.
Thank you to Yvette Watt for her invaluable advice, and to artist Olga Cironis for the donation of the handmirrors. Also to Jo Fredericks who so kindly gave us permission to utilise her incredible artwork.
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