My third trip to Tasmania’s Dark Mofo festival felt urgent after I heard the rumour that this year could be the last.
If you’re thinking, ‘What the heck is Dark Mofo?’ you’re not alone, as it seems the midwinter celebration of all things bizarre is not well-known by my peers.
The whole shebang is the brainchild of professional-gambler-turned-art-curator David Walsh.
You may have seen news footage of thousands of bare bottoms racing into the icy sea (more on that later), or heard the outrage over plans to soak a British flag in First Nations’ blood - this is Dark Mofo.
But it’s a lot more than just shock value - it’s a vital coming together of Australian and international art that genuinely pushes boundaries, and treats the observer as being capable of critical thought.
Many installations are provocative for sure, but there are also plenty of performances and ideas that are just fun, weird, racy, outrageous, and mostly family friendly.
It’s also a rare opportunity to discover amazing musicians you won’t hear on FM radio.
The festivities kicked off with the Home State Reclamation Walk, a First Nations welcome to country featuring local Aboriginal people encouraging us to think about Hobart before the White Man.
A procession led by fire and smoke took us past ‘ghosts’ of ancestors, who looked down on our intrusion from balconies and rooftops above.