Karrabing Film Collective Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams, 2016 28:53 min Courtesy of Karrabing Film Collective
‘The Karrabing Film Collective uses film to analyze contemporary settler colonialism and through these depictions challenge its grip. In the shadow of Third Cinema and Theater of the Oppressed, Karrabing is creating a new model for Indigenous filmmaking and activism.’ – Karrabing Film Collective
Based in Australia’s Northern Territories, the Karrabing Film Collective is an Indigenous media group whose work exists in a distinctive space between artists’ film, activism, narrative cinema and grassroots self-representation. Consisting of approximately 30 members—predominantly living in the Belyuen community—the collective approaches filmmaking as a form of critical resistance and self-organization. Australia’s Northwest Territory government’s Emergency Response intervention led to measures that have enabled police to enter Indigenous homes at will, drastically increased Indigenous incarceration for minor offenses, lead to cuts in social welfare and pressured clans to open their land to mining corporations. These issues, among others, come into Karrabing’s films, appearing through a method the group calls “improvisational realism” that creates a space both between and beyond documentary and fiction. Karrabing means “tide out” in the Emmiyengal language and refers to the northwest coastline of Australia that connects the members of the collective.