The Karrabing Film Collective is a media group that uses filmmaking and installation as a form of Indigenous grassroots resistance and self-organization. Screenings and publications allow the Karrabing to develop a local artistic languages and forms and allow audiences to understand new forms of collective Indigenous agency.
Their medium is a form of survivance – a refusal to relinquish their country and a means of investigating contemporary social conditions of inequality. The films represent their lives, create bonds with their land, and intervene in global images of Indigeneity.
The collective includes approximately 30 members—predominantly living in the Belyuen community—who together create films using an “improvisational realism” that opens a space beyond binaries of the fictional and the documentary, the past and the present. Meaning “low tide” in the Emmiyengal language, karrabing refers to a form of collectivity outside of government-imposed structures of clanship or land ownership. Shot on handheld cameras and phones, most of Karrabing’s films dramatize and satirize the daily scenarios and obstacles that collective members face in their various interactions with corporate and state entities.
Composing webs of nonlinear narratives that touch on cultural memory, place, and ancestry by freely jumping in time and place, Karrabing exposes and intervenes into the longstanding facets of colonial violence that impact members directly, such as environmental devastation, land restrictions, and economic exploitation.