A new film by artist Jenny Fraser has made official selection in a festival in the United Kingdom.
‘Trouble in the Camp’ will have its World Premiere at London’s Native Spirit Film Festival, an annual event that celebrates the world’s Indigenous cultures. The screen culture showcase coincides with Indigenous Peoples Day kicking off on 12 October this year, and will be accessible online for Native Spirit first cyberspace festival events based out of London and also Taiwan in November. Fraser and main actress Ivy Wharton will participate in a Q&A about the film and be interviewed by film lecturer Iris Wakulenko. Other performers include Ivy Marika, Madeline Hodge, Eleanor Dixon, Jack Young, Camp Freedom and a showcase of more musical greats such as Fred Leone, Eric Avery, OKA and Mark Atkins.
Trouble in the Camp focuses on visual storytelling as its strength, and also includes Yugambeh language. Native Spirit Festival Director, Tweed describes ‘The film is immersive, shown from the point of view of Jinda, so viewers get a sense of experiencing country, and travelling through time. It really looks amazing, I love this film, it captures so many lightwaves and forms, incredible. And so good to have less talk.’ Native Spirit Foundation promotes the protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples around the world by advancing education about the art, culture and heritage of Indigenous peoples. A significant part of the work of Native Spirit Foundation is promoting Indigenous-language films in an attempt to generate a platform for dialogue and exchange between communities and modern societies.
Actress Ruby Wharton is a proud Gomeroi Kooma woman, a law and psychology student, a community organiser and a passionate freedom fighter who comes from the strong community of Cunnamulla (Kunja country), raised predominantly in Meanjin (Brisbane). She is one of the organisers of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR), and a sovereign Black nationalist. Wharton respects the sovereign birthright to Country, water and skies; and believes that First Nations people are capable of sustaining economically and socially. These beliefs “fuel the activism and advocacy work WAR does, which is to resist settler colonial systems and standards, revive culture and ancient songlines, and work hard to decolonise.”
Jenny Fraser has spent her time travelling across expanses of over 6000km and documenting the evolving relationship between tribal peoples of Northern and East Coast Australia and the surrounding land and seascapes they have called home for thousands of generations. The resulting footage places the film between documentary and narrative Truth Telling. Fraser herself has Migunberri Yugambeh roots from the Tribal area that is now referred to as the Scenic Rim area of Hinterland near the Gold Coast, which has also provided historical basis and stunning cinematic inspiration for the film. “I have been shooting this work for over a decade and I feel lucky to have my own footage, particularly from places like Binna Burra pictured shortly before it burned down in the bush fires in 2019.” Other locations are spread from Arnhem Land in the top of Australias Northern Territory, where actress Ivy Marika is from, across to Far North Queensland, the Sunshine Coast and other locations in South East Queensland, along with the Northern Rivers region and Sydney in New South Wales.
This year, the Native Spirit Film Festival marks its 14th year, and is the U.K’s first and only annual independent festival to promote Indigenous Filmmakers and Artists, now with increasing focus on Narrative and Visual Sovereignty. The festival is run by Native Spirit Foundation, founded in 2005 by Mapuche leader Freddy Trequil to promote knowledge and awareness of Indigenous cultures and longer term projects supporting Community-run education in Native Schools. Freddy states “All the activists have come to the conclusion that one objective of making video, radio and television is for the other culture to know us. It is necessary to create a bridge to share our culture in an educational form, without losing our identity.”
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