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FOMAnipaluna / HOBART 24—26 FEBRUARY 2023

A festival in lutruwita

Mona Foma has no permanent physical home. The festival functions as a site-specific enterprise across the island, clustered around its biggest cities in summer but tied to no single place. In this sense, like its seasonal cycle, the festival is ephemeral: a passing celebration of art, music and so forth. But held on land already steeped in thousands of years of Aboriginal culture.

No matter the sites we use for our festival in nipaluna (Hobart) and Launceston, or along the Midlands, our presence here is founded on a colonial structure, a system built on invasion of this place and dispossession of its people. It is clearly a contradiction to acknowledge that the land we hold our festival on was never ceded while continuing to use it, rent it from non-traditional owners, and invite festival-goers to meet us there.

This has to mean something, beyond mere lip-service on a website. Which is why, notwithstanding our contradictions, it is important we work to uncover the truth of our past to make sense of the world we live in now. And the truth is:

  • lutruwita (Tasmania) was taken from the traditional owners of the land through brutal force and invasion. This Country was never ceded;
  • pakana are the continuing custodians of lutruwita (Tasmania). Their Ancestors, Elders, and ongoing connection to Country deserve our respect.

We ask to be held to account, and ultimately judged on our actions. This will always be a work in progress. And hopefully bring Mona Foma a real connection to this spectacular place, where laykila (North Esk River), plipatumila (South Esk River) and kanamaluka (River Tamar) meet as three rivers in the north; and to the south, where timtumili minanya (River Derwent) laps beneath proud kunanyi (Mount Wellington).