Richard Bell's Embassy in Cairns
In 1972, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on the parliamentary lawns in Canberra to challenge the status, treatment, and rights of Aboriginal people in Australia. As a direct quotation of this activist strategy of protest, Richard Bell’s own Embassy (2013–) is a public space for imagining and articulating alternate futures and reflecting on or retelling stories of oppression and displacement.
In 2015 the IMA presented Embassy at Performa 15 in New York, and we are proud to be presenting the work in Cairns in partnership with KickArts Contemporary Arts and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.
Over the two days of CIAF, an impressive line-up of speakers and contributors will animate Bell’s Embassy, including Vernon Ah Kee, Richard Bell, Megan Cope, Lydia Miller, Professor Gracelyn Smallwood, Murrandoo Yanner, and Murrumu Walubara Yidindji.
Friday 15 July
9am – 2pm Embassy screenings: Richard Bell’s Imagining Victory series on loop, Scratch an Aussie, 2008 (10 minutes), Broken English, 2009 (13 minutes), and The Dinner Party, 2013 (13 minutes)
2 – 3pm Embassy panel discussion: Art & Activism, featuring Lydia Miller, Richard Bell, and Vernon Ah Kee
Saturday 16 July
1pm Embassy panel discussion: Native Title, featuring Murrandoo Yanner, and Prof Gracelyn Smallwood with Richard Bell
2pm Embassy screenings: Vernon Ah Kee introduces tall man, 2010 (12 minutes)
3pm Embassy talk: Richard Bell
4pm Embassy screenings: Richard Bell’s Imagining Victory series on loop, Scratch an Aussie, 2008 (10 minutes), Broken English, 2009 (13 minutes), and The Dinner Party, 2013 (13 minutes)
6pm – late Embassy music: live performances in the tent
Sunday 17 July
11am Embassy panel discussion: Land Rights, featuring Murrumu Walubara Yidindji with Richard Bell
1pm Embassy screenings: The Redfern Story, 2014 (57 minutes)
2:30pm Embassy talk: Megan Cope wraps up
All events take place at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal.