Karrabing Film Collective, The Family and the Zombie, 2021

Karrabing Film Collective


Founded in 2012.

Based in Australia’s Northern Territory, the Karrabing Film Collective counts some thirty Indigenous filmmakers of all generations. Their cinematic corpus resuscitates a complex network of practices and relationships: with Earth, geology, ancestors, human and non-human life, and visual culture. Elizabeth Povinelli, professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Columbia University (New York), is a long-time member of the collective. Together they have come up with a unique, baroque film corpus, a skilful blend of satire and political/legal subversion in defence of their identity, their rights, and the power of the imagination.

The Family and the Zombie (2021) is a video featuring Aboriginal children playing in lush green overgrowth that gradually turns into a wasteland. Conceived as a zombie film, the work reveals the toxic dangers of unbridled Western consumption and questions the cultural erasure caused by colonialism. The screening It is surrounded by a landscape of scrap cars, tires, and other postindustrial detritus. This project supports the creation of a cultural heritage area in the Mabuluk (Cape Ford) region in Australia.

The Family and The Zombie is a co-commission by: Serpentine Galleries, London for Back to Earth, Palais de Tokyo, Paris for Reclaim the Earth and E-WERK Luckenwalde for POWER NIGHTS: Being Mothers. With the support and collaboration of Indigenous Language and Art Program, Department of the Arts, Australia and Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, Darwin, Australia. Additional thanks to Madre, Napoli.