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Night Fishing with Ancestors

Screening of the film by Karrabing Film Collective #ripplingintheair


Ocean Space
Admission fee
Free of charge

Limited seats available. Please register here.


Event held in English. The film will be screened in English with Italian subtitles.


The exhibition "Thus waves come in pairs" will be open to the public from 7 to 8pm.

The Public Program 2023 officially kicks off with a first event organised in collaboration with NICHE Venice and Teatro Ca' Foscari in Santa Marta.

Inspired by TBA21–Academy’s practice of disseminating local ecological knowledge through cultural programming, the 2023 public program at Ocean Space will bring the many streams of the curatorial fellowship program The Current III "Mediterraneans: Thus waves come in pairs" (after Etel Adnan), led by Barbara Casavecchia, to Venice. These events will be an offering an occasion for the public to immerse in the activities that have animated the research program, unfolding from an ecology of collaborations and commonalities as counter-narratives to aridity and scarcity.

This year, the central theme is the movement of waves, guiding five different streamsof activities: Walk - "Venice as a model for the future?"; Talk - "Waves of words"; Performance - "Live Currents"; Screening - "Rippling, in the air"; Food - "Convivial Tables".

On Tuesday, 2 May, Ocean Space opens its doors for the screening of the film "Night Fishing with Ancestors" by Karrabing Film Collective.

Ocean Space’s 2023 public program is kindly supported by Select Aperitivo and Venezia FC.


7pm | Visit of the exhibition "Thus waves come in pairs".

8pm | Introduction by Natasha Bigfoot Lewis, Elizabeth Povinelli, Francesca Tarocco and Barbara Casavecchia and screening of "Night Fishing with Ancestors".

8:30pm | Discussion with Natasha Bigfoot Lewis, Katrina Lewis, Cecilia Lewis, Peter Winsley, Elizabeth Povinelli, Cameron Bianamu, Shekinah Lewis, Akaydia Lee (Karrabing Film Collective).

Night Fishing with Ancestors

"Night Fishing with Ancestors" compares different forms of cultural and economic exchange of the Indigenous population in Australia’s Northern Territory. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Karrabing’s ancestors interacted with the Macassans from the Sulawesi region, which is now part of Indonesia.

Since the mid-19th century, colonial settler politics shape the lives of Indigenous people. Communication with the Macassans was based on an exchange of goods and knowledge, with land and ancestral knowledge being a decisive component. Contact with the white settlers is characterised by violent oppression and dispossession; indigeneity is thereby an expression of a supposed primitiveness. The story in the film is conceived as a narrative for Karrabing’s children camping in their coastal land, and discusses how the various forms of contact continue to shape their stories, their land and their being today. With the humour and lightness typical of Karrabing, Night Fishing enables a transition from filmmaking to world-making.

"Night Fishing with Ancestors" is the first completed artistic element of a broader project, “Rising Tides, Melting Glaciers,” that pivots between two ecological disruptions, namely, melting glaciers and rising tides, and two political historical forms and fates of colonial dispossession, namely, the destruction of Karrabing member Povinelli's ancestral village/family-based commons in Trentino in 1805 and the invasion of Karrabing lands, lives, and more-than-human relations in 1869.

karrabing film collective

Karrabing Film Collective is an indigenous media group consisting of over 30 members, bringing together Aboriginal filmmakers from Australia’s Northern Territory. They approach filmmaking as a mode of self-organization and a means of investigating contemporary social conditions of inequality. Through the collective’s inventive artistic language, their work challenges historical and contemporary structures of settler power. Most of the members of the collective live at Belyuen with their lands stretching across the coastal south west of Darwin, northern territory. The films represent their lives and through the process create bonds with their land while intervening in global images of Indigeneity. International screenings and publications of their work over the last few years have provided opportunities for some members of the collective to obtain passports, allowing them to develop local artistic languages and for audiences to understand new forms of collective Indigenous agency.

Part of the cycle “Live Currents”. This performative stream, springing from the many collaborations of The Current III, draws from the interconnections of our Mediterranean enquiries, building on the itinerant and long-term methodology of The Current's curatorial fellowship program.