Power 100

Most influential people in 2023 in the contemporary artworld


Karrabing Film Collective

Artist Collective - Indigenous Australian filmmakers harnessing art and film as tools for consciousness-raising

9 in 2023

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Courtesy Karrabing Film Collective

The collective, who hail from the rural Indigenous community in the Northern Territory of Australia, and whose members might number anywhere between 30 and 70 people, make films that bear witness to racism past and present and offer an alternative vision beyond that violent history. Their latest work, Night Fishing with Ancestors (2023), shown this year at solo exhibitions at Secession in Vienna, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and Goldsmiths CCA in London, as well as various screenings internationally, is typical, loosely centring on the story of eighteenth-century Macassan traders who sailed to the Australian coast from Indonesia to collect sea cucumbers, a moment of collaborative trade before the extractivist violence of white colonialism. As much as the content of their productions has won praise, woozily mixing documentary, sci-fi and humour, so has their decentred way of working, in which profits from screenings and prizes are ploughed into the development of their own community and their ongoing attempts to reclaim land from the Australian state.

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