Karbara The First Born

ElephantEars Press re-presents here the film of the First National Black Playwrights Conference and Workshop held January 1987 in Canberra, Australia.

Invited into the Sydney Film Festival in June 1987 and Pincher Creek Indian Film Festivals of 1989 & 1990, Karbara was first broadcast on ABC TV, October 1987.

Indigenous directors and writers, new and established, young and old, workshopped works written for stage and screen with indigenous & non-indigenous Australian actors. The time together gave screen and stage practitioners from throughout Australia a chance to collaborate and share stories and ideas.

This 16mm film was found in the Flinders University Library by the film’s producer and director Richard Guthrie. With the help of librarian, Tom Snook, and Screen NSW, this important piece of film and theatre history is now available here 24/7. For Indigenous viewers, this film contains images and voices of deceased people.

2020 is the 250th anniversary of James Cook and the British navy’s sighting of Australia, and forms Britain’s first step in assuming ownership of the southern continent in 1788, using the rejected 18th century legal pretext of terra nullius (see Mabo v Queensland (No 2) [1992] HCA 23).