Kim Requesto is a Philippine born, Mission District raised cultural practitioner and multi-disciplinary artist based in Unceded Ramaytush Ohlone Territory also recognized as San Francisco, California. She specializes in 35mm photography, filmmaking, and dance. At the heart of Kim Requesto’s diasporic work is the mantra, “Advocacy through art.” With an artistic foundation in Philippine folk dance, Requesto has dedicated herself to cultural expression and advocacy through movement, photography, and community outreach.
She navigates her artistic work with the goal of fostering tangible support for Pilipinxs abroad and Indigenous communities in the Philippines. Requesto conducts extensive field research to get a stronger understanding of regional cultures and livelihoods. Her research coincides with her work as a photographer, which allows her to visually share the realities of Philippine citizens. Through the publication of film photography books and the development of contemporary dance pieces, Requesto uses her artistic platforms to not only raise awareness, but to uplift the voices of marginalized communities both in the Philippines and the Philippine diaspora.
Requesto has been part of the Philippine Folk Dance community in San Francisco since 2005 and continues to perform with Parangal Dance Company as a Dance Master, Choreographer, and Principal Field Researcher. In 2016, the Alliance of California for Traditional Art awarded Requesto a grant to apprentice under Kalinga Cultural Master Artist Jenny Bawer Young and in 2018, she went to the province of Lubuagan, Kalinga to learn directly from renowned Kalinga cultural bearer, Cirilo “Sapi” Bawer. Through Parangal Dance Company, Requesto has been able to immerse and do research with various indigenous ethnolinguistic communities: Ata Manobo, Panay Bukidnon, Tagakaolo, Ati Tarog, Yakan, Subanen, Ifugao, Kagan, Maguindano, Bugkalot, Tboli, Tau’sug, and Kalinga.
In 2020, Requesto was awarded the San Francisco Art’s Commission Individual Artist Grant to fund the creation of Yugto - three dance films that explore the future of Philippine Dance in the diaspora. This work was supported by and premiered as part of the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s 24th annual United States Asian American Festival in May of 2021.
Requesto aspires to create more contemporary Philippine diasporic dance work and visual media using her background in Philippine dance to bring awareness and thoughtfulness to the realities of different communities in the Philippines and the diaspora.