Each evening hundreds of chatarreros (scrap collectors) comb the streets of Barcelona for metals. Their only tools are supermarket shopping carts, which are filled with discarded appliances and other sharp debris until resembling apocalyptic rolling sculptures. This work is done almost exclusively by migrants, mostly Africans without papers. Ubiquitous but invisible, their presence is so incongruous to Barcelona’s brand as a trendy city that they pass unnoticed. These ghostly scrap collectors are the stars of Filastine’s latest video.
Filastine & Nova are a multimedia duo working to undermine borders. Their music collides electronic beat production with dense layers of voice, concréte sounds, analogue synths and strings. Another world is exactly what they aim to create, using sound, video, design, and dance to express a radically different vision of the possible.
Their current project, Abandon, fuses video art, documentary, and music to explore how we sell our time on earth, and how we can dare to get free. Each of the four episodes profiles a unique personal revolt against low-valued work: an Indonesian miner, a Portuguese maid, American office workers, and Spain’s scrap metal scavengers.
Los Chatarreros follows one man’s night of work, starting with an empty cart and ending at dawn when he converges with other chatarreros at the scrap depot to sell his harvest. He finds escape in moments of percussion and emancipatory dance, or maybe just in his sleep-deprived imagination. This lead character is embodied by krump dancer Dougie Knight, and choreographed by Celine Pimentel. Mamadou Barri, Christian Kabeya, Diego Solaque & Alan Gonzalez appear in supporting roles. Los Chatarreros is filmed by Xavier Artigas of Metromuster, with aerial filming by Mitra Azar. The rapid 808 kick drums of Chicago footwork propel the music of Los Chatarreros, layered with metallic click arpeggiations, street textures, and saturated synth chords.
The Chatarreros track will be available as a free download only on the day of the video release, February 28th, on Filastine’s Soundcloud. It will also be included on Filastine & Nova’s upcoming LP Drapetomania (12” vinyl + CD + online) out this April. The duo will be taking Drapetomania on a world tour, starting in May with performances in Spain, France, UK, Tunisia, & Italia.