OCAD University Open Research Repository

Xantolo: What Death Requires

Castillo, Alberto (2024) Xantolo: What Death Requires. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Castillo, Alberto

The MFA thesis exhibition “Xantolo” tells the story of and reflects upon my experiences within resistance culture and my Xicano culture as a way of life. The show features a multidisciplinary collection of Mexican altares, paintings, installations, soundscape, and synthesizes the worlds of radical activism and Indigenous cultural resurgence. My thesis question asks: Why hasn’t a robust movement against ecological exploitation, ecological collapse, and climate change emerged? I look inward at my own experiences living on the land and fighting oil/gas pipeline projects on unceded Native land occupied by Canada. I analyze our collective inability to imagine, plan, and act in response to ongoing ecological collapse. My thesis challenges the naturalization of capitalism and offers an alternative in land-based and Indigenous frameworks of responsibility, direct action, and harmony with the natural world through a deeper understanding of life and death. I channel the sacred ceremony of Xantolo practiced from ancient Mexico and its hybridized resurgence with contemporary Xicanos today. The ceremony which is commonly referred to as the “Day of the Dead” offers an alternative perspective on death, ancestors, and reverence; a timely framework for a mainstream that avoids, conceals, and denies the lessons which death may teach. Using my experience within Indigenous resistance movements and my background of Xicano culture, I provide examples of activation in the face of denial, normalization of political resistance, and the resurgence of cultural practices that embrace death and argue that these practices could help to restore a more balanced natural order as we barrel toward a turbulent and unknown future.

Official URL: https://www.albertocastillo138.com/
Date: 1 May 2024
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design
Date Deposited: 03 May 2024 20:12
Last Modified: 03 May 2024 20:12
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4371

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