Art Verses Hatred. The Choice Is Yours

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by Kerrie Pacholli

As a producer and someone who writes articles for St Kilda News, I am compelled to mention the St Kilda beach rally. Starring them, the others and the boys in blue, who in full regale, put on a media-worthy performance on the beach and St Kilda’s Lower Esplanade on Saturday 5 January.  

Of course, I had little to no interest in participating in this staged event. At that time I was actually at the Peanut Farm Reserve attending the Farmers Market and photographing a life-sized sculpture at Shakespeare Grove Artists Studios. The police helicopter and a collection of media choppers were circling overhead for hours so it was difficult not to be aware of the happening. As far as I could fathom it was a rally celebrating hatred, racism, intolerance, division and let’s not forget a glamorous display of strength by our police force.

I could not help but think who produced this? How did the producers rally all the participants? Who paid for it? It was probably months on the drawing board leading up to the event. I figure it would have cost the state and/or local governments and in turn Mr & Mrs Citizen an arm and a leg to deploy the hundreds of police organised to attend. Or perhaps you could say the police would have received pay wherever they were. But that is not the point. If I am to believe online media the taxpayer also covered the cost of keynote speaker Fraser Anning to fly in for the show.

Over the last year and a half, the St Kilda Arts Community, a non-for profit organisation managed by local community-minded people got together to produce three special weekend arts events by rallying local artists and businesses to get involved. One of my contributions for these various arts events was in co-producing three Pop-Up art galleries in collaboration with 23 other artists. All of us self-funding in our efforts.

To be truthful, I felt quite at odds when realising the relatively enormous investments by the state and local governments and mainstream media channels on what I consider to be a hate rally and a vacuous sinkhole event. The question beggars, do we really want to support and encourage hate rallies? More than ever I am crystallised in my awareness that state, local government and mainstream media are best to morally support and generously finance art, culture and artists who are willing to work for the betterment of our communities.

I’m interested in getting your view on these issues:

Kerrie Pacholli © PationPics

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