Australian Karrabing Film Collective has won the Eye Art & Film Prize 2021. This was announced Thursday morning. The prize, which is awarded annually by the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, includes a sum of £ 25,000 (more than € 29,000). The Australian group will, among other things, complete the project they are currently working on and which will be featured in Eye in due course: the family. This is a multidisciplinary art project and part of the Back to Earth Project, in which around sixty international artists are participating to develop environmental campaigns and initiatives. In addition to Karrabing, for example, Olafur Eliasson, Brian Eno, and Vivienne Westwood are also involved in the project.
Previous Karrabing films and installations have been shown at Tate Modern, Center Pompidou and MoMA PS1, as well as biennials in Jakarta, Gwangju, Shanghai and Sydney.
Founded in 2008, the group is comprised of indigenous people from the Northern Territories of Australia. They depict everyday life connected with the stories of their ancestors.
in a the family Ancestors from the northern territories return in the future. They find a world where only one zombie is left, which is a white zombie. “We made it clear in poetic fashion that everyone who eats the world will eat the toxin it produces,” Elizabeth Povinelli, one of the group’s founders, said over the phone from New York.
“With all the mining and other projects that have devastated the Earth, there is very little left. Ancestors tell their children what happened, where this zombie came from and also where they came from. This is the power of the films we make: We keep the stories alive. What makes this movie great. It is very important that the future is seen from the past, and from the ancestors. ”
According to her, it is a way of showing that traditions are not in the past, but that they still exist. Especially when it comes to dealing with the ground. “Old traditions in new dumpsIt was called in another movie.
Made with cell phones and small cameras, movies are not about one filmmaker, it’s about a group that comes together to create one product – the rootsActivity. They also create installations for galleries and museums. According to Cecilia Lewis, Rex Edmonds and Linda Yarwin, some of the other founders of Karrabing, the idea behind the group is “to keep members’ lands alive through the family, environment, and symbolic relationships that created their lands.” . Povinelli explains that before these films came out, stories were there, but no one was listening to them.
There is no script for movies, just a starting point. “The people we’re filming don’t mean to memorize sentences,” said Povinelli. “There should be room for improvisation and this is a good way to better shed light on current issues.” The modus operandi is also called “impromptu realism,” in which truth, fiction, history, and traditions stand side by side.
Much has changed and not much has changed in the Northern Territories in recent years, according to Povinelli. “If you compare it to 1984 when I first arrived: racism still exists, and so is constant police surveillance, as well as misuse of land.” But things have changed, too. In 1984, many indigenous people were placed on reserves. The bond with the ancestors was severed as places outside the reserves became prohibited. “The stories were in danger of vanishing,” my co-founder Cecilia Lewis once said in a lecture. Thanks to Karrabing that has changed: children get to know places and stories again. “
According to Povinelli, the fact that there is more room for activism in art nowadays works for Karrabing: “Young curators see the potential of what we make. What used to be local is now being picked up on a large scale.”
In 2022 Ain will exhibit the Karrabing Film Collection.
A copy of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of April 1, 2021
Zombie specialist. Friendly twitter guru. Internet buff. Organizer. Coffee trailblazer. Lifelong problem solver. Certified travel enthusiast. Alcohol geek.