While Australian media has been proudly celebrating the Venice Biennale win by Blak artist Archie Moore of the nation’s first ever Golden Lion (for best national pavilion), the Guardian’s arts editor, Alex Needham captured a bigger picture in an article headlined: ‘Part protest, part rave: the Indigenous artists stunning the Venice Biennale’.

Of course he began with Moore: “From Gold Lion winner Archie Moore to Brazilians the Tupinambá collective, First Nations artists are making their voices heard at ‘the Olympics of art’. They talk hammocks, hunting and human connection”.

In 2022 there was the breakthrough with the Nordic pavilion handed over to Saami artists from the Scandi-north. This time, the main exhibition, called ‘Foreigners Everywhere’, is packed with Indigenous work from all over the world. Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa’s concept is that being colonised makes you feel like a foreigner in your own country, erasing your culture, stealing your land, and even exterminating your people.

Almost every wall text for pieces by Indigenous artists notes that this is their first time at the Biennale.

Commenting on Archie Moore’s work ‘kith and kin’, Needham assesses, “In its own time-spanning, quietly eloquent way, kith and kin seems to embody the kind of voices Australia declined to listen to (in the Voice referendum), but people overseas might”.

Nearby, the message is louder, for the American pavilion is filled with beaded sculptures of birds, priestlike figures with ceramic heads and multicoloured fringes, and a video of a Native American woman performing a jingle dance to thumping techno. “It’s part rave, part powwow, part drag show, part protest march”, says Needham, “featuring singing, drumming, regalia and ceremonies that were all previously outlawed in North America in an attempt to suppress Native culture”.

The artist is Jeffrey Gibson, a Mississippi Choctaw/Cherokee, and the exhibition entitled “the space in which to place me” includes US founding documents, music, sermons and proverbs to remind viewers of the broken promises throughout US history. The vibrant use of colour projects optimism. And craft is at the centre of Gibson’s art, both in defiance of past denigration of craft and as a way to confront “the traumatic histories of Native American people,” he has said.

Hard to identify the Denmark pavilion, for Denmark has been crossed out and replaced with the words Kalaallit Nunaat (“the land of the Kalaallit”). Artist Inuuteq Storch is from Greenland, a country colonised by the Danes in 1921. His exhibition, called ‘Rise of the Sunken Sun’, consist of six photographic series, including ‘Necromancer’ – eerie images printed on transparent plastic that hint at the region’s suppressed but ingrained shamanic spirituality.

The Dutch pavilion has been colonised by a Congolese workers’ collective, whose installation is a cri de coeur about the catastrophic cost of the extraction of cacao and palm oil from their land. Palm oil oozes from the ceiling, and the gallery is filled with sculptures made of cacao and palm oil depicting rape and pillage.

Over in the Brazilian pavilion, renamed Hãhãwpuá, it contains work by a trio of Indigenous artists. With bloodstained floors and flying poison arrows, it’s as disturbing as it is beautiful. “Now we are in the main role, the protagonists and authors of our own history,” Ziel Karapotó, one of the artists tells Needham, “that’s a new thing in Brazil – and especially in the art world. The planet is sick and a cure depends on all of us. But I believe that the non-Indigenous need to listen to us. Because our way of life could be a solution”.