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Live online screening of Day in the Life (2020) by Karrabing Film Collective, followed by a discussion between Elizabeth Povinelli and Isabel Burr Raty.
The anthropologist Arturo Escobar defines territory as a polysemous area outlined by porous borders. It is a living space where cultural, agricultural, and ecological practices come together at the crossroads of nature and identity. It is a space that defines and allows self-assertion. Tinted by exoticism and fictions borne out of the collective imagination, how can territories scarred by colonial occupation reorganise themselves in order to keep a balanced exchange between humans and nonhumans? The moving images in the films screened in this second chapter provide new spaces for meeting and (re)building, for questioning mechanisms of appropriation and the occupation of territories.
Sequenced as five stereotypical daily moments, Day in the Life by Karrabing Film Collective deconstructs clichés around Aboriginal Australians commonly portrayed in the media. Using an atypical cinematic style that could be called “improvisational realism” (a mix of fiction and fact, realism and reality), the protagonists play out everyday obstacles faced by an indigenous family in order to satirize the systems of governance and extractivist capitalism of colonists, encountered as the day goes on.
Chilean-belgian artist Isabel Burr Raty is currently producing her second film Easter Island – the navel of the Earth and pursuing research around the indigenous Rapa Nui community. A conversation will be held between Isabel Burr Raty and Elizabeth A. Povinelli, researcher and member of Karrabing Film Collective. They will discuss the romantic and problematic vision of a harmonious union between indigenous peoples and nature, the impact of colonialism on how a territory is “lived in” and the effects uprooting has on knowledge.
Isabel Burr Raty is an independent Chilean-Belgian filmmaker, performance artist, coach, teacher at erg, Brussels and former associated researcher at a.pass.be, exploring the ontological crack between the native and the engineered, between the unlicensed knowledge of the relocated and the official facts. In doing so, she aims to dig up chapters left out of history books, blur the limits between fiction/reality and re-think the memory of the future. Her artistic research interweaves new media with live/body art, proposing hybrid narratives and bio-autonomy practices, that play with synthetic magic and compose in situ sci-fi stories. Isabel Burr Raty has presented her works and collaborations in venues such as Beursschouwburg, Brussels (BE); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (FR); ISEA (HK), and Cultivamos Cultura (PT).
Karrabing Film Collective is an indigenous media group formed by approximately 30 members, most of whom are based in the Northern Territories of Australia. Initiated in 2008 as a form of grassroots activism, they approach filmmaking as a mode of self-organisation and a means of investigating contemporary social conditions of inequality. With their films and installations, the collective exposes the shadow and different shapes cast by colonial power and constant state interventions. Together they have invented a singular cinematic space to defend their identity, claim their rights and the power of their imagination. This takes the shape of a complex assemblage of practices and scales of relation: to the land, to geology, to ancestors, to human and nonhuman life, and to visual culture.
Elizabeth A. Povinelli is a critical theorist, filmmaker and Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Columbia University where she has also been the Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Her critical writing has focused on developing a critical theory of late settler liberalism that would support an “anthropology of the otherwise”. With her indigenous colleagues in north Australia, she collaborated on six films, created as members of the Karrabing Film Collective. Her publications include Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism (2016), Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism (2011); The Empire of Love (2006).
Day in the Life (2020) by Karrabing Film Collective will be projected as part of the installation at La Loge from March 18th — March 20th