How Progress Shark became Australia’s accidental World Pride icon

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02/16/2023

What if we put a giant model shark in a sparkly rainbow swimsuit? Like many great ideas, the pitch for Progress Shark – a recent Australian viral sensation – was equal parts “ridiculous” and “brilliant”. The Australian Museum wanted to create a vivid and unique sign to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to Sydney as the city hosts the month-long World Pride festival from Friday. And – somewhat serendipitously – they already had a 10m great white, or white shark, displayed in front of the museum, on one of the city’s busiest intersections. “We went: ‘Right, well how about we just cover it in a rainbow?'” says Amanda Farrar, head of the museum’s pride committee. The result, its creators say, is a queer celebration – a bold, colourful, and tasselled homage to lycra.

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