Beyond ‘world leading’ aspirations

I was in Tasmania for the Christmas holidays. Whilst I was there I found a copy of the MOFO (Museum of Old and New Art: Festival Of Music and Art) program for January 2018.

I was particularly interested in David Walsh’s foreword in the program. I have emphasised the last two sentences:

I’m in Seville, a city I’ve not been to before. It’s splendid—one of the most beautiful cities on Earth. And everybody knows it. The locals are proud, the tourists are agog, the atmosphere is feverish. Christopher Columbus left for the new world from here, and he inadvertently brought back most of what makes Seville so spectacular.

Recently my wife spent some time doing art in Launceston. I was there with her, and found it to be enchanting. But it lacked the fever. While Mofo has been fetching flair for ten years now, and depositing it in Hobart, plenty has been happening in Launnie, but not many know it.

Launceston isn’t Seville, and Mona isn’t Christopher Columbus, but I am curious to see if we can raise the temperature in Launceston. There’s nothing more interesting than danger. And there is nothing more dangerous than a new world.

The sentences took me back to my discomfort in reading the Intergenerational Review of Australian Sport 2017. Two of the five areas identified in the report are:

  • Becoming the most active sporting nation …
  • Developing a world leading, trusted sports industry …

I wondered how the MOFO writers might address these aspirations. I wondered too what kind of ‘fever’ a document writing about 2036 might generate by finding different ways of sharing the danger of new lands … because that is where we are heading.

We can let go of ‘world leading’ statements and just do our very best to engender a love of play, games and sport. We do have twenty years to address, nurture and support the essence of play, games and sport in our culture.

We could be very modest about this.

Photo Credit

A tough Nut to crack (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

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