Karrabing Indigenous Corporation is a grassroots Indigenous arts collective based in the Northern Territory of Australia. All but one of the over fifty Indigenous members are stakeholders of the land; their ages range from newborn to elder. They seek to integrate their parents’ and grandparents’ ways of life into the education of their children, to create economically sustainable cultural and environmental businesses and to support their homeland centres. Using their aesthetic practices as a means of self-organisation and social analysis, Karrabing develop local artistic languages, whilst allowing audiences to understand new forms of collective Indigenous agency.
The main activities of the group centre around three projects: the Karrabing Art Residency for Ancestors (KARA), the Karrabing Film Collective (KFC) and the Karrabing Mapping the Ancestral Present (KMAP). KARA seeks an ecologically safe and sustainable residence not only for the creation of films and artworks, but more importantly for an open-air gallery whose primary audiences are their ancestral totems and relatives.
KFC creates film and art installations as a form of Indigenous grassroots resistance and self-organisation. Composing webs of nonlinear narratives that touch on cultural memory, place and ancestry by freely jumping in time and place, KFC exposes the longstanding colonial violence that impacts members directly, such as environmental devastation, land restrictions and economic exploitation.
Committed to keeping their culture alive and rejecting the fantasies of sovereignty and property, the Karrabing use their artworks to bend western mapping technologies, including GIS and GPS location technologies, to reflect a world that is connected through the ancestral agencies of the totems’ good will.