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Across their films, the Karrabing Film Collective shatters the settler fantasy that Indigenous life is past purest – a settler tense in which the true Indigenous subject is in the ruptured pre-colonial past. Instead the films stage an ancestral present that surges across government red tape, second hand boats and trucks, the call to Christian faith, and the refusal to succumb to endemic poverty. The films make a demand on viewers to put aside ideas about good and bad, pure and corrupted culture and instead witness the binds of keeping a way of life in place in the contemporary settler state.

The Karrabing Film Collective is a group of about twenty-five indigenous men and women and allies based in far north Australia. Begun in 2008 in the midst of a violent displacement from their community and a federal assault on Indigenous rights, the film collective has made four short films. Their work has been shown internationally including at the Berlinale Shorts, Gertrude Contemporary-Melbourne, Institute of Modern Art-Brisbane, Sydney Biennale, Kochi Biennale, and the Melbourne International Film Festival. Their second film, When the Dogs Talked, won the 2015 Melbourne International Film Festival Cinema Nova Best Short Film Award; and their third film, Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams, anchored their 2016 Visible Award.

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