Kiltr@

Kiltr@ is an emotive journey in search of alternate kinship approaches between people and street dogs. Through a series of interviews with artists, cultural institutions, and their companion species, as well as primary footage of dogs who live beyond the borders of domestic life in Santiago de Chile, we explore the co-evolutionary relationships between kiltr@s and “humans”, looking for clues about how they help each other to survive.

Etymologically, the term “quiltro” comes from Mapundungun (Mapuche indigenous language) and was once used to classify a mixed breed of small furry dogs. In its everyday use Kiltro is a term that codifies species and racial hybridity and that translates as mutt, mongrel, or mixed breed. Kiltro is also the most common term used to classify the roughly half a million “homeless” or street dogs found across Chile. Kiltro is often used as a slur with a derogatory undertone, to devalue dogs without pedigree, or when used to refer to people who are of mixed race or who have indigenous ancestry. In this project we hope to resuscitate Kiltr@ as a decolonization term, that resists against colonial and modern notions of purity across nature, culture, race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality, and that reminds us of our co-constituted and co-evolutionary subjectivities.

For the past decade, feminists, anarchists, and artists have been primary agents in rescuing kiltr@s and resisting against the militarized extermination policies that threaten their survival; here we follow a few of them: Carmen Berenguer, a feminist poet, theorist, and audiovisual artist, helps us to investigate the social and cultural construction of the kiltr@ in Chilean society as she introduces us to Obama, a street dog she adopted from Plaza Italia. In San Miguel, Marissa Nino, an animal activist and photographer, shares intimate portraits about the lifestyles of animals and people who traverse Santiago’s underground. In the municipality of La Pintana we follow the story of Estrella, a kiltra that became the first mascot for Pintacanes, a cultural and arts festival where residents use fiberglass clones of kiltr@s to reflect upon and re-imagine their own identities. From La Pintana we turn to Santiago Centro, where María, a semi domestic kiltra teaches “painter of light,” Cristián Galaz about freedom and the feminist politics of reproduction.


Cheto Castellano is a self-taught visual artist and filmmaker. He was born in Chile but now leads a nomadic lifestyle between the Americas and Asia. His current work explores how colonialities of power, nature, and gender produce conditions of slavery and oppression for both human and non-human species. Three recent collaborative projects, Kiltr@s (2012), Revisiting Art Farm (2012), and SEEDBANK (2012), apply transmedia methodologies to posthumanistic research and develop multimodal platforms using visual anthropology, video installation and architectural design. His most recent experimental film project envisions the near future through an ethnographic gaze, constructing a surreal post-gender society where water is scarce and planting seeds holds revolutionary potential. He is the co-founder of Sin Kabeza Productions, which is dedicated to the creation and dissemination of experimental transmedia. Currently a collection of Sin Kabeza’s experimental work is on display at dOCUMENTA(13). http://www.chetocastellano.com

Lissette Olivares is an artist, activist, curator, and transmedia storyteller that is committed to interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge production. Her work as an artist-agent investigates the realm of human, animal and ecological exploitation through diverse technologies including creative writing, performance, intervention, experimental video and multimedia installation. Three recent collaborative projects, Kiltr@ (2012), Revisiting Art Farm (2012), and SEEDBANK (2012), develop transmedia methodologies for multispecies ethnography using visual anthropo(zoo)logy, video installation and architectural design. She is the co-founder of Sin Kabeza Productions, which is dedicated to the creation and dissemination of experimental transmedia. Currently a collection of Sin Kabeza’s experimental work is on display at dOCUMENTA(13).

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