Karrabing Film Collective retains its connection to land through film


The Northern Territory’s Karrabing Film Collective is a grassroots Indigenous media group and ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9) features a survey of their short films conceived and realised since 2014. Seamlessly blending fiction and documentary traditions, these films are a way for the group to retain connections to land and the ancestral Dreaming.

The Collective is comprised of an intergenerational mix of more than thirty members of the Belyuen community, with anthropologist and gender studies professor Elizabeth Povinelli, who has worked with the community since 1984. Together they have sought to generate their own model for Indigenous filmmaking and activism, by bringing together different tribes and languages, to create artworks through communal thinking and experimentation.

Karrabing Film Collective / Established 2013, Northern Territory, Australia / Artists: Cameron Bianamu, Gavin Bianamu, Sheree Bianamu, Telish Bianamu, Trevor Bianamu, Danielle Bigfoot, Kelvin Bigfoot, Rex Edmunds, Claudette Gordon, Ryan Gordon, Claude Holtze, Ethan Jorrock, Marcus Jorrock, Melissa Jorrock, Reggie Jorrock, Patsy Anne Jorrock, Daryl Lane, Lorraine Lane, Robyn Lane, Angelina Lewis, Cecilia Lewis, Marcia Lewis, Natasha Lewis, Elizabeth A Povinelli, Quentin Shields, Aiden Sing, Kieran Sing, Shannon Sing, Rex Sing, Daphne Yarrowin, Linda Yarrowin, Roger Yarrowin and Sandra Yarrowin

The Film Collective’s highly inventive visual language occupies a space between artist film, activist video and narrative cinema. Their work addresses issues such as the legacy of the Australian Government’s Emergency Response intervention in 2007, rates of Indigenous incarceration for minor offenses, cuts in social welfare, and pressures on communities to open up their land to mining corporations.

These subjects are explored through scripted scenarios and natural dialogue that together form an approach the group has termed ‘improvisational realism’. It is emphasised by the use of mobile phone and consumer-grade cameras that enable a casual sense of intimacy between the cast and crew.

Daily screenings during APT9

The screenings of Karrabing Film Collective’s six films begin at 10:15am and 1:30pm from 24 November 2018 until 28 April 2019 in the Australian Cinémathèque, Cinema B, GOMA.

When the Dogs Talked 2014 / Digital video: 16:9, 33:56 minutes

Windjarrameru, The Stealing C*nt$ 2015 / Digital video: 16:9, 36:33 minutes

Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams 2016 / Digital video: 16:9, 28:53 minutes

Night Time Go 2017 / Digital video: 16:9, 31:10 minutes

The Jealous One 2017 / Digital video: 16:9, 29:17 minutes

The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland 2018 / Digital video: 16:9, 26:29 minutes

READ more on APT9 / subscribe to youtube TO WATCH BEHIND-THE-SCENES video

Delver deeper into APT9 with Qiu Zhijie

Watch our time-lapse as Qiu Zhijie creates Map of Technological Ethics 2018 especially conceived for GOMA’s expansive spaces during ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9).

With its origins in calligraphy, Qiu Zhijie’s practice has evolved through a range of media, idioms and cultural frameworks to arrive at a notion of ‘total art’. His artworks maintain a rich dialogue between Chinese pictorial and literary traditions, contemporary art, philosophy and social engagement.

APT9 publication

APT9 has been assisted by our Founding Supporter Queensland Government and Principal Partner the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.

Acknowledgment of Country
The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the Gallery stands in Brisbane. We pay respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders past and present and, in the spirit of reconciliation, acknowledge the immense creative contribution Indigenous people make to the art and culture of this country. It is customary in many Indigenous communities not to mention the name or reproduce photographs of the deceased. All such mentions and photographs are with permission, however, care and discretion should be exercised.

Feature image: Karrabing Film Collective, Established 2013 Northern Territory, Australia / Production still from The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland  2018 / Digital video: 16:9, 26:29 minutes / © Karrabing Film Collective