22 April 2021, LONDON - This Earth Day, WePresent, the editorial platform of WeTransfer, meets Karrabing Film Collective, an Indigenous media art group based in the Northern Territory of Australia, comprising over 30 members which uses the creation of film and art installations as a form of Indigenous grassroots resistance and self-organization. The digital exhibition delves into the creative process behind Karrabing’s upcoming film The Family (2021). It forms the fourth instalment of Groundwork: a creative series by WePresent that documents the behind-the-scenes research into artists’ new works for Back to Earth, Serpentine’s multi-year environmental programme.
As part of WePresent’s Groundwork project, Karrabing Film Collective outline how the relations they have with their lands, and the more-than-human beings that compose it, shape their film and art projects. A trailer of their upcoming film, The Family (2021), suggests the ways that the collective mobilizes the “ancestral present” to comment on and intervene in the devastating social and environmental impact of settler colonialism on Indigenous worlds. Stalked by a white zombie in a post-apocalyptic world, Indigenous ancestral children find its lair and defeat it with a ubiquitous symbol of cheap commodity capitalism—mass-produced dolls. Reversing typical understandings of ancestral time, The Family shows the power of ancestors to shape the future rid of the ravenous illness of extractive capitalism.
Alongside these exclusive extracts, WePresent will spotlight three early films by the award-winning collective comprised of thirty creatives - When the Dogs Talked (2014), Windjarrameru: The Stealing C*nt$ (2015), and Wutharr: Saltwater Dreams (2016). Transcending time, these multifaceted works encapsulate Karrabing’s blurring of past, present and future through nonlinear narratives, in favour of an everlasting connection to ancestral history that never wanes.
Karrabing Film Collective joins WePresent and Serpentine’s collaborative online Groundwork series to continue their examination of the inequality indigenous communities face. As part of the ongoing series, WePresent invites the public to donate to a charity chosen by the featured artist, with WeTransfer doubling these donations up to 30,000€ to all charities involved. Karrabing will raise funds for their Art Residency for Ancestors project, which seeks to create a cultural heritage area in the Mabuluk (Cape Ford) region and an arts programme that serves the community.
Donations can be made via the WePresent feature and a dedicated wallpaper on the WeTransfer site. This philanthropic initiative continues WeTransfer’s commitment to cultivating the artistic community while also supporting global climate justice. Every year, WeTransfer donates up to 30% of advertising real estate to raise awareness for artists, creative work and the world’s most pressing issues, announced its prestigious B Corporation certification in 2020, and became a Climate Neutral Certified service in 2021.
Holly Fraser, Editor in Chief of WePresent said: “As a platform that seeks to tell unexpected stories of creativity from every corner of the globe, we can think of no better ambassador for the Australian indigenous experience than Karrabing Film Collective. Since their conception, Karrabing’s presentation of indigenous life and culture has been crucial for the preservation of their communities' history on their own terms. WePresent welcomes Karrabing onto our platform to continue our exploration of the climate crisis from global perspectives through our Groundwork series”.
Karrabing Film Collective, artists and filmmakers said: “Our films emerge from the deep, shared experiences of Karrabing members. The Family, along with all of our film and art works, are first and foremost about supporting our lands and our ancestors in these lands. We wish to inspire artists everywhere to understand that artistic creation must be part of the ongoing respect to actual places on the earth.”
Bettina Korek, Chief Executive, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine said: “Each month, Groundwork reveals a digital mini-encyclopaedia documenting the creative journeys of five artists involved in the Serpentine’s multi-year Back to Earth project, including Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Vivienne Westwood, Karrabing Film Collective, Himali Singh Soin and Tabita Rezaire. WePresent and the Serpentine join forces to shine light on the rich contributions art can make to tackle the climate crisis, while encouraging observers to reflect and consider action”.
The Family by Karrabing Film Collective will be exclusively available on WePresent from 22nd April here.
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Karrabing Film Collective
Karrabing Film Collective is an Indigenous media group who use filmmaking to interrogate the conditions of inequality for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and retain connections to land and their ancestors. Composed of some thirty extended family members whose ancestral lands stretch across saltwaters and inlands and the Italian Alps, Karrabing together create films using an “improvisational realism” that opens a space beyond binaries of the fictional and the documentary, the past and the present.
Art Residency for Ancestors
Karrabing’s Art Residency for the Ancestors creates a direct link between the Karrabing Film Collective and their human and totemic ancestry of their lands. In conjunction with Serpentine, London, the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, and the Indigenous Language and Arts Program, KARA seeks to establishment an endowment for (a) the protection of totemic and historical ecology and geography of the south side of the Anson Bay, Northern Territory, Australia, including panoramic totemic being, a vast network of rock weirs (fish traps), and towering shell midden; (b) the establishment of an Arts and Sea Rangers program to monitor to ecological and ancestral health of the region; (c) the creation of four to five residences including one for art residencies and curatorial conversations and projects.
Championing new ideas in contemporary art since 1970, Serpentine has presented pioneering exhibitions for half a century, from a wide range of emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognised artists of our time.
Across two sites only 5 minutes apart, in London’s Kensington Gardens, Serpentine presents a year-round, free programme of exhibitions, architecture, education, live events and technological innovation, in the park and beyond.
Proud to maintain free access for all visitors, thanks to its unique location Serpentine reaches an exceptionally broad audience and maintains a deep connection with its local community.
Serpentine’s long term environmental programme Back to Earth investigates questions like: How can art respond to the climate crisis? What can artists contribute at this moment of global emergency? Each Back to Earth project also doubles an environmental campaign, from speculative investigations on one side of the spectrum, to concrete activism on the other.