Kali Spitzer is Kaska Dena from Daylu (Lower Post, British Columbia) on her father’s side and Jewish from Transylvania, Romania on her mother’s side. She is from the Yukon and grew up on the West Coast of British Columbia in Canada on unceded Coast Salish Territory. She is a trans disciplinary artist who mainly works with film – 35mm, 120 and wet plate collodion process using an 8×10 camera. Her work includes portraits, figure studies, and photographs of her people, ceremonies, and culture. Her work has been exhibited and recognized internationally. Spitzer recently received a Reveal Indigenous Art Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation in Canada and was featured in the National Geographic and Photo Life magazine in 2018.
At the age of 20, Kali moved back north to spend time with her Elders, and to learn how to hunt, fish, trap, tan moose and caribou hides and bead. Kali documents these practices with a sense of urgency, highlighting their vital cultural significance. She focuses upon cultural revitalization through her art whether in the medium of photography, ceramics, tanning hides or hunting. She views all of these practices as art and as part of an exploration of self.
I want to extend my gratitude to all of the people who have trusted me to photograph them in such intimate ways.
“Indigenous Femme Queer Photographer Kali Spitzer ignites the spirit of our current unbound human experience with all the complex histories we exist in, passed down through the trauma inflicted/received by our ancestors. Kali’s photographs are intimate and unapologetic and make room for growth and forgiveness while creating a space where we may share the vulnerable and broken parts of our stories which are often overlooked, or not easy to digest for ourselves or society.”
-Ginger Dunnill, Creator and Producer of Broken Boxes Podcast (which features interviews with indigenous and other engaged artists).