RMIT Gallery’s exhibition Radical Actions showcases work by contemporary Irish artists to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland.
Documentary film has often been harnessed in the service of political change to provoke and record revolution. Together with RMIT's research centre for Communication, Politics and Culture, RMIT Gallery’s complementary ‘Images of Revolution’ film program presents films that reflect a deep commitment to social change and progressive politics.
Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens In Australia (dir. John Hughes) 2009. Duration: 90 mins. Australia.
About the film:
Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia recalls the birth of Indonesia, and the impact of a small film, made at a moment of crisis, on Australia’s relations with its northern neighbor and its legacy for Australian documentary film culture.
Soon after the end of the Pacific War, internationally renowned Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens made a film in Australia in collaboration with Indonesian activists, Chinese, Indian and Australian trade unionists, and local artists and filmmakers, defending the newly proclaimed Republic of Indonesia.
Ivens’ film was an activist documentary; it actively contributed to the events it depicted, and documented the crucial role of Australian trade union support in the establishment of the new Republic of Indonesia. All those who worked on it became ‘adversely known’ to the security services.
Introduction by Adjunct Prof John Hughes, film director.
An independent producer, writer and director for film, television and online media, John Hughes’ work has engaged with Australian cultural and political history and issues over a number of decades. Among his credits are After Mabo,Traps, Moving History, The Art Of War, One Way Street and the cinema feature What I Have Written.
His documentary output is formally innovative and research driven, with Australian labour history, native title and Indigenous rights prominent among his films. Hughes’s research interests focus on Australian film history, critical theory and practice, industry policy, media activism and digital culture.
John's landmark film The Archive Project won the 2007 NSW Premier’s History Prize, the 2006 Film Critics Circle of Australia Award (Best Feature Documentary), the 2006 Australian Teachers of Media Award (best tertiary resource) and the inaugural Joan Long Award for achievement in Australian film history.
John received the Stanley Hawes Award for lifelong commitment to Australian documentary in 2006.