Newsletter, July 2019

Upcoming Events

The Development Institute (Instituto Desarrollo, ID) in Paraguay was awarded a USAID grant to strengthen Paraguayan higher education institutions to improve the rule of law, decrease corruption and increase support for democracy. As part of this project, ID has partnered with Cultural Agents to use Pre-Texts as a training platform to establish a culture of accountability and creativity across Paraguayan organizations and rule of law institutions. We will be heading to Paraguay in the fall to tackle corruption with Pre-Texts.

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning will offer a Pre-Texts workshop on Aug. 29th at their 2019 Fall Teaching Conference (FTC). During the workshop, participants will get a taste of the Pre-Texts method, and explore how to use it in the Harvard classroom. It will be a short version of the 3-session workshop that Prof. Doris Sommer will offer in October over the course of three Fridays (Oct. 4th, 11th and 18th).

For more information, visit this link.

Pier Luigi Sacco, Special Advisor to the EU Commissioner for Education and Culture, will give a talk at the Mahindra Humanities Center entitled “Cultural Engagement as Measurable Medicine” on Sept. 24th. The Medicine with Words seminar series is a collaboration between the Cultural Agents Initiative and the Initiative on Healing and Humanity at Harvard Medical School, co-sponsored by Mahindra Humanities Center and Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. This series explores the importance of narrative for personal and collective healing, focusing on the interplay between art, science, their practices, and interpretations. The series engages with the long legacy of humanistic and therapeutic narrative: identifying genres of storytelling, as well as networks of artists, educators, politicians, clerics, doctors, and other practitioners who use creative verbal practices to promote public health.

For more information, visit this link.

José Falconi will be representing Cultural Agents at the Cinédanse Ottawa 2019 Conference from September 17-22 . Under the theme “Healing Scars”, the event will spread dance through screens and interact with other artistic disciplines. The works displayed will allow the public of the greater Canadian Capital region to question social issues, renew their perspectives and their senses. The programming will revolve around the theme of health and wellness in a spirit of healing, going beyond the superficial. The works presented will allow participants to discuss their connections to others, to strangers, and to the marginalized in order to challenge indifference and isolation in our communities.

Read more about Cinédanse Ottawa 2019 here.

As part of the project La paz se toma la palabra in Colombia, a series of Pre-Texts workshops will be held over 3 sessions on October 3rd, 4th and 5th in Barranquilla. The workshop is open to cultural mediators from Cartagena, Barranquilla, Montería, Santa Marta, Riohacha San Andrés, Sincelejo, Valledupar and Bogotá.

Read more about La paz se toma la palabra here.

Pre-Texts News

“In February 2019, I traveled to Kampala to work again with my project Architects of Music. I was so inspired by Pre-Texts that I introduced it to my colleague who came with me to Kampala and we led several activities with the group all around Mozart’s Magic Flute. The creativity of our participants was overwhelming and in a short amount of time we designed a one hour African-European performance telling the story of The Magic Flute.”
Victoria Romann, Co-founder of Architects of Music; flautist and teaching artist

Architects of Music is a newly established, socially motivated music education program for youth in Kampala, the vibrant capital city of Uganda. The program serves to build bridges through musical education between Uganda and Germany.

Read more about Architects for Music here and watch the Pre-Texts activities in Uganda here.

Our colleague, artist Laragh Pittman, led a Pre-Texts workshop for women at the Irish Writers Centre last November in Dublin. The workshop was part of a publication report on the Glencree Centre’s work entitled Dialogues with Muslim Communities in Ireland. As part of their work with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, they used Pre-Texts to look at key Human Rights texts in a relaxed, sociable and innovative way. They explored making the wordy documents more relevant to their lives and found ways to contribute their own voices, particularly those of Muslim women in Ireland. They shared in different languages, used visual arts and spoken word, and listened to each others’ experiences.

Read more about the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation here.

Pre-Texts in Colombia

On August 10th at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogotá, Fundación Agentes Culturales held a mini Pre-Texts workshop with students, professors, literacy specialists and coordinators.

Fundación Agentes Culturales also recently concluded the follow-up process on the implementation of Pre-Texts with civil servants from the municipality of Rionegro in the Department of Antioquia. They are also starting a pilot plan to introduce Pre-Texts in the María Cano District School in San Cristóbal, Bogotá.

Featured News

“Acabo de terminar un curso para mis estudiantes de UW-Madison que he impartido en Marruecos y España sobre derechos humanos y salud pública. Hemos utilizado todas las herramientas del Teatro del Oprimido con víctimas de trata por explotación sexual que aún están en tránsito y en situación de extrema vulnerabilidad. El resultado ha sido asombroso y mis trece estudiantes y las 12 mujeres de Nigeria interpretaron una obra final en un teatro de Casablanca, abierta al público y dirigida por las mujeres desde el principio al fin. El entrenamiento ha sido intenso pero hemos aprendido más que leyendo artículos sobre la trata durante todo un año. Ha sido una experiencia de catarsis tanto para mis estudiantes como para las mujeres, y para mí ni te cuento.”

– Araceli Alonso, Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison UNESCO Chair on Gender, Wellbeing and Culture of Peace

Cases for Culture Cultural Agents Department of Architecture Doris Sommer Italia Launch Videos Mental Health Opportunities Partners Pre-Texts Rennaisance Now Social Equity
July 4, 2019
by Rodriguez