Video Still: Karrabing Film Collective, How We Make Karrabing, 2020. Video (single channel, color, sound); 6’41”. Courtesy of the Artists.


How We Make Karrabing series

virtual screening

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  • Online


Do Rocks Listen? is a solo exhibition by the Karrabing Film Collective, a grassroots Indigenous media group, based in Australia’s Northern Territory, who create films and art installations as a way to analyze contemporary settler colonialism, and through these depictions, challenge its grip.  Their films employ a highly inventive cinematic language that provokes disorientation and (mis)understandings of the multileveled worlds in which Indigenous Australian families dwell.  

Do Rocks Listen? presents the first comprehensive survey of the Karrabing Film Collective’s films in Asia, by converting the ICA’s gallery into a microcinema and via virtual screenings online.  The exhibition is organized into four screening series.  The series, “How We Make Karrabing,” features more recent micro films that reflect on the origins, meaning, and purpose of the Karrabing Film Collective. 

In English and Australian Aboriginal English with Chinese subtitles.

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The Riot, 2017
Video (single channel, color, sound); 21’52”

Karrabing emerged from the trauma of violence, following riots that erupted when the Australian government passed the Northern Territory National Emergency Response in 2007, which is commonly referred to as the “Intervention.” In 2009, while still homeless, Karrabing members displaced by the riots began making short films as a method of self-organization and social analysis.   

Just because you can’t see it…, 2018
Video (single channel, color, sound); 2’39”

Just because you can’t see it... is a serious, sometimes humorous, reflection on the Karrabing Film Collective’s understandings of the ancestral present—that their totems and ancestors are not in the past, but are an ongoing relationship they are obligated to maintain for their own health and wellbeing and that of their more-than-human lands, seas, and worlds.

The Road, 2020
Video (single channel, color, sound); 2’15’’

The Road documents and expands upon their memorable and eventful bushwhacking sessions to clear a road to a distant, remote beach as part of the Karrabing Art Residency for Ancestors and Karrabing Mapping the Ancestral Present projects. 

Roan-roan and connected, that’s how we make Karrabing series

Staying with the ancestors, 2020. Video (single channel, color, sound); 1’57”
Keeping Country open, 2020. Video (single channel, color, sound); 2’48”
How we make Karrabing, 2020. Video (single channel, color, sound); 6’41”

Roan-roan and connected, that’s how we make Karrabing is a video series made during the COVID-19 pandemic. Across an internationally mediated interview with Karrabing members, a discussion took place about their vision of staying together, with each other and the more-than-human world, through connections to their ancestors and land. Comprising iPhone interview footage, old camcorder recordings of trips to Bamayak-Mabaluk, and clips from some of their recent films, a montage aesthetically enacts the multiple registers of difference and connectivity that characterize Karrabing.

In conjunction with Do Rocks Listen? an exhibition by Karrabing Film Collective 

Do Rocks Listen? an exhibition by Karrabing Film Collective and related events are presented as the first season of Another Knowledge Is Possible (2021-23), a biennial artistic research program organized by the ICA at NYU Shanghai. From Fall 2021 through Spring 2023, the ICA will explore other knowledges that have been neglected or repressed and ask if it is possible for a deep decolonization of thought to reclaim these ways of knowing?

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