Arts sector workers and educators boycotting the 19th Biennale of Sydney

To the organisers of the 19th Biennale of Sydney,

We are workers and educators in the arts sector.

We were concerned to hear that a major sponsor of the Biennale, Transfield, is currently contracted to assist with the running of Regional Processing Centres (RPCs) on Nauru and Manus Island. These RPCs are part of the infrastructure of the Australian Government’s policy of mandatory detention, a policy that has been condemned by organisations such as the UNHCR for human rights abuses and breaches of international law. The Nauru and Manus Island RPCs in particular have come under criticism for the harsh and inhumane conditions in which people seeking asylum have been kept.

We note in this respect that RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees – Australia’s only organisation run and governed by refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees – support a complete boycott of the Biennale.

We feel that it would be irresponsible on our part to support an event funded with profits made from the inhumane detention of people seeking asylum in Australia.

For this reason we wish to inform you that we have decided to boycott the 19th Biennale of Sydney.

Dr Lorraine Bower
Ross Coady
Christie Cooper
Mark Gerada
Dr Matthew Holt
Matthew Kiem
Penelope Lee
Dr Suzanne Osmond
Naomi Solomon

Please let us know in  a comment below if you would like to add your name to this letter.

Arts sector workers and educators boycotting the 19th Biennale of Sydney

3 thoughts on “Arts sector workers and educators boycotting the 19th Biennale of Sydney

  1. We don’t want death, detention centres and treating refugees like criminals anyway involved in the arts – The Biennale would also have blood on its hands – in light of the recent violence at Manus Island. The Arts must question it’s funding, and it’s place in society – it is not an island, unaffected by what goes on around it. For the arts to be truly important, it must situate itself in the political climate of this country – Please find ethical funding and sponsorship!

  2. Jodie Wiggins says:

    ‘Everyone that didnt deliberately blind themselves understood what Stalin was doing in Russia.’ We cannor remain blinded and complicit with our own gulags.


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