Kiltr@ (2012) (HD, 24:54)
Directed by: Lissette Olivares & Cheto Castellano
Genre: Documentary, Multispecies Activism, Ecological Ethnography, Anthrozoology

Kltr@ 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.

World Premiere @ dOCUMENTA(13), June 6-September 16, 2012
Berlin Premiere, Institute of Cultural Inquiry, September 27, 2012
Spanish Premiere, Vozal de Perra, MACBA, January 2013
as part of Les Rencontres Internationales (2014) in the following venues:
Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2014
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2014
Meinblau, Berlin, October 2014, as part of WE, Animals, curated by Anne Hoelck

Related Links

Screening/Distribution/Contact Info:
Lissette Olivares

Downloadable PDF

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