Homo Novus


...if the world is to mean anything

curator Andy Butler (Australia)
09.09. 19:00, Festival Centre | Free entry

Five artists with ties to Australia work with the moving image to make sense of the confluence of worlds they inhabit. Home to the oldest continuing cultures in the world, an ongoing settler-colony since 1788, and with a contemporary flow of global migration that breaks the historical idea on which Australia was founded as a nation at the beginning of the 20th century – that it would be a home for white people. This idea has lingered for a century, despite Australia neighbouring Southeast Asia.

If the world is to mean anything… is a series of works that respond to the contradictory layers of a landmass that is a microcosm of larger questions that are gripping the world. The artists collectively use the building blocks of filmmaking to think through the contemporary legacies of colonisation, finding voices form outside of the Euro-American power bloc, and navigating the felt realities of anti-migration rhetoric.
Films by Hoda Afshar, Hayley Millar Baker, Andy Butler, Pilar Mata Dupont, James Nguyen & Victoria Pham

Film screenings:
Nyctinasty by Hayley Millar Baker (8 min)
the drumstick is a hammer by Victoria Pham and James Nguyen (23 min)
La Maruja by Pilar Mata Dupont (12 min)
Remain by Hoda Afshar (23 min)
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Andy Butler (8 min)

Implemented as part of the White Night Forum of Contemporary Culture with the financial support of the Riga City Council and the Australian Embassy in Latvia


About Curator and Artists

Andy Butler is an artist, writer and curator based in Melbourne Australia. As an artist, his videos have been exhibited and screened nationally and internationally. His work tries to understand how we can maintain hope and optimism at a time of political and cultural upheaval, and how we exist within the legacies of political, cultural and economic instituions that we know are broken.
He has recently undertaken residencies in the Philippines, Indonesia and New Zealand, and is currently a visiting curatorial researcher at Humboldt Forum, Berlin.
Hayley Millar Baker is a Gunditjmara Djabwurrung artist, born in South-West Melbourne, Australia (1990). She works across photography, collage, and film to interrogate and abstract autobiographical narratives and themes relating to her own identity – drawing on spirituality, Indigeneity, womanhood, motherhood, and the psyche.

HODA AFSHAR was born in Tehran, Iran (1983), and is now based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia. Hoda explores the nature and possibilities of documentary image-making. Working across photography and moving-image, she considers the representation of gender, marginality, and displacement. In her work, she employs processes that disrupt traditional image-making practices, play with the presentation of imagery, or merge aspects of conceptual, staged, and documentary photography

James Nguyen – James Nguyen is an Australian artist and filmmaker based in Melbourne. He has been commissioned by institutions such as the Australian War Memorial, the Museum of Contemporary Art for the National 2019 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and others.

Victoria Pham – Victoria Pham is an installation artist, composer and evolutionary biologist. She currently is a PhD Candidate in Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Her specialisation is in archaeoacoustic technology and the evolution of music. Her work is driven by explorations into the connections between second-hand memory, examining modes of decolonisation, communal storytelling and ecological expressions of construction.

Latinx visual artist and filmmaker Pilar Mata Dupont (b. 1981) has a complex and multifaceted practice spanning film, installation, performance, and photography. Her research driven, but highly intuitive practice delves into the fallibility and malleability of narratives of history and memory. Her Argentinean background and upbringing in Australia, Argentina, and Brunei Darussalam – all settler states or former colonies – serve as a lens through which she frames her work, and her home of seven years in the Netherlands has become a recent focus of investigation


Short films by: Hayley Millar Baker, Victoria Pham and James Nguyen, Pilar Mata Dupont, Hoda Afshar, Andy Butler




Festival Centre

Free entry


English with Latvian subtitles

Run time

1 h 30 min

Festival Centre

Kaļķu iela 24

Supported by

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