Karrabing Film Collective

15 Jun 2019

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London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Buses: 8, 388, 26, 35, 47, 48, 67, 78, 135, 149, 242 and 243
  • Tube: Liverpool Street, Old Street, Bethnal Green, Aldgate East

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A triple-bill of contrasting short films by the unique Karrabing Collective from Australia’s Arnhem Land


During WWII, the Australian government tried to remove a group of Karrabing ancestors from their lands, but they refused to leave. Deeply ironic and satirically humorous, this film mixes anachronistic re-enactments with manipulated archival footage to tell an alternate history in which the Karrabing rebel and drive the colonists from the top end.

Across a series of flashbacks, an extended Indigenous family argues about what caused their boat’s motor to break down and leave them stranded out in the bush. As they consider the roles played in the incident by the ancestral presence, the regulatory state and the Christian faith, Saltwater Dreams explores the multiple demands and inescapable vortexes of contemporary Indigenous life.

In the not so distant future, Europeans will no longer be able to survive for long periods outdoors in a land and seascape poisoned by capitalism – but Indigenous people seem able to.

A young Indigenous man, Aiden, taken away when he was just a baby to be a part of a medical experiment to “save the white ‘race’”, is released into the world of his family. As he travels with his father and brother across the landscape, he confronts two possible futures and pasts.  Karrabing’s latest film is a powerful intervention in contemporary debates about the future present of climate change, extractive capitalism and industrial toxicity from the point of view of Indigenous worlds.

Karrabing Film Collective (est. 2013, Australia) is a grassroots Indigenous media group consisting of over twenty members. They approach filmmaking as a mode of self-organization and a means of investigating contemporary social conditions of inequality. Screenings and publications allow the Karrabing to develop local artistic languages and allow audiences to understand new forms of collective Indigenous agency. Their films represent their lives, create bonds with their land and intervene in global images of Indigeneity. Their films and installations have been exhibited at Contour Biennale, Mechelen, Belgium; Berlinale Forum Expanded; Hallucinations, Athens at documenta 14; Sydney Biennale;; e-flux supercommunity at the Venice Biennale; Doc’s Kingdom, Lisbon; and Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, among others.

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Exhibiting artists

The Karrabing Film Collective

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