Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland
Karrabing Film Collective
PYLON is proud to present the online screening of "Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland" (2018) by the Karrabing Film Collective, starting Friday, August 11, 2023.
Karrabing Film Collective is a collective of about thirty filmmakers and artists that was founded in response to attacks by the Australian state on the social and territorial structures of the indigenous population. Most members belong to the indigenous communities of the Northwest Coast and live in the Belyua community in the Northern Territories. In the Emmiyengal language, the word ›Karrabing‹ means ›tide out‹: alluding to the cyclic rising and falling of the sea, the name conjures up the group’s collective action while evoking the ancestral ties between its members and the Australian seascape. Their films are based on scenes of everyday life that disclose long-lasting ramifications of colonial violence, such as environmental destruction, land restrictions, and social oppression. By using their aesthetic practice as a means for self–organization and social analysis, the collective devises a local artistic language to make new forms of collective resistance manifest to the public.
The members of the Karrabing Film Collective are: Patsy-Ann Jorrock, Trevor Bianamu, Gavin Bianamu, Sheree Bianamu, Telish Bianamu, Cameron Bianamu, Natasha Bigfoot, Katrina Bigfoot, Kelvin Bigfoot, Marcia Bigfoot, Rex Edmunds, Chloe Gordon, Claudette Gordon, Miles Gordon, Claude Holtze, Reggie Jorrock, Marcus Jorrock, Ethan Jorrock, Arthur Jorrock, Melissa Jorrock, Alethia Jorroth, Roblin Lane, Danielle Lane, Darryll Lane, Loraine Lane, Sharon Lane, Serena Lane, Paul Lane, Akaydia Lee, Angela Lewis, Cecilia Lewis, Joclyn McDonald Yarrowin, Elizabeth Povinelli, Quinton Sheilds, Rex Sing, Shannon Sing, Aiden Sing, Kieran Sing, Cassic Sing, Alice Wainbirri, Daphne Yarrowin, Sandra Yarrowin, Claudia Yarrowin, Roy Yarrowin, Georgia Yarrowin, and Roger Yarrowin.
In the past years, the collective’s films have been increasingly screened and exhibited at an international scale; among the others, at the International Film Festival, Rotterdam (2020); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2020); MoMA PS1, New York (2019); KADIST, San Francisco (2019); e-flux, New York (2019); Silent Green, Berlin (2019); Bergen Kunsthall, (2019); IMA Brisbane (2018); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2018); Melbourne International Film Festival (2018); PUBLICS, Helsinki (2018); Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Berlin (2018); Jakarta Biennale (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2017); Tate Modern (2017); dOCUMENTA 14, Kassel (2017); Berlinale, Forum Expanded (2017); Contour Biennale 8, Mechelen (2017); Biennale of Sydney (2016); and Melbourne International Film Festival (2015). In 2015 they received the ›Visible Award‹ for socially engaged contemporary art practice as well as the ›Nova Award‹ for Best Short Fiction Film.
The online screening will be on view until September 10, 2023 and is part of the curatorial program NEWS FROM NOWHERE by PYLON, including a series of on- and offline screenings and exhibitions.
The screening is kindly supported by Landeshaupstadt Dresden - Amt für Kultur und Denkmalschutz and by Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen. Gefördert durch die Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen. Diese Maßnahme wird mitfinanziert durch Steuermittel auf der Grundlage des vom Sächsischen Landtag beschlossenen Haushaltes.
The futuristic film ›The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland‹ (2018) presents us with a dystopian scenario in which the Australian land appears dead and barren as an effect of the ravages of capitalism; unlike the local population, Europeans settlers are no longer able to survive outdoors. The protagonist is a young indigenous man, Aidan, who had been snatched from his family as a baby to serve a medical experiment meant to save the white population. Once released, he travels the landscape of his ancestors in company of his father and brother; here, he is confronted with two possible versions of the future and the past. The film takes a stance on current debates on the effects of climate change, capitalism, and industrial toxicity from the perspective of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and recalls the Australian government’s human rights abuses in relation to the Stolen Generation – the children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were removed from their families by the Australian federal and state government agencies and church missions until the 1970s.