Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Forum Expanded

The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland

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In the not so distant future, Europeans will no longer be able to survive for long periods outdoors in a land and seascape poisoned by capitalism, but Indigenous people seem able to. A young Indigenous man, Aiden, taken away when he was just a baby to be a part of a medical experiment to “save the white ‘race’”, is released into the world of his family. As he travels with his father and brother across the landscape he confronts two possible futures and pasts.
The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland is a powerful intervention in contemporary debates about the future present of climate change, extractive capitalism, and industrial toxicity from the point of view of Indigenous worlds.


Australia 2018

Aboriginal English, English

27’ · Colour


Aiden Sing (Aiden)
Trevor Bianamu (Trevor)
Gavin Bianamu (Gavin)
Kieran Sing (Kieran)
Sandra Yarrowin (Mermaid)


Written and Directed by
Karrabing Film Collective
Elizabeth A. Povinelli
Sound Design
Thomas Bartlett
Karrabing Film Collective


Karrabing Film Collective

The Karrabing Film Collective (est. 2008) is an award-winning group of some thirty filmmakers and artists who use their aesthetic practices as a means of self-organization and social analysis. Most Karrabing are Indigenous and live in a rural community in northwestern Australia. In the Emiyengal Indigenous language Karrabing means ‘tide out’. It refers to a time of coming together, as well as to the coastline that connects the Karrabing Film Collective as an extended family group across social lines. Their films and installations have been shown in biennials, film festivals, and exhibitions worldwide.


2012 Karrabing, Low Tide Turning; 14 min. 2014 When the Dogs Talked; 34 min. 2015 Windjarrameru: The Stealing C*nts; 36 min. 2016 Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams; 29 min., Forum Expanded 2017 2017 SeenUnseen Trilogy; video installation, 4 min. · Night Time Go; 31 min. · The Jealous One; 29 min. 2018 They Ben Jealous; video installatoin, 19 min. · Mermaids, Mirror Worlds; 35 min. · The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

Karrabing Indigneous Corporation