Newsletter, February 2021

Cultural Agents News

Workshops with Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz
The Participation Commission of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), in alliance with the High Council for the Rights of Victims, Peace and Reconciliation of the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá and the Initiative of Cultural Agents at Harvard University come together to develop a process of appropriation of the Pre-Texts methodology. The purpose of the space is to strengthen the dynamics of participation between victims and their defenders in the design and implementation of Works, Works and Actions of Reparative Content (TOARS). The workshop started on January 25th, and will continue through early March.

JEP is part of SIVJRNR, a set of mechanisms to guarantee the rights of victims to truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition. For more information on the work of JEP, visit their website. You can also read more about JEP’s role in Colombia here.

News from Futbol Viral

New Testimony, São Paulo, Brazil

Futebol Viral is an interactive platform to engage men who get bored at home during the Covid-19 lockdown while domestic violence spikes. Launched in Brazil in May 2020, Futbol Viral brings home activities that people already enjoy and customizes them for lockdown conditions. The program develops physical and social coordination, along with skills in strategy, statistics, and storytelling through the practically universal pleasures of the sport. See our most recent testimony above.

UPCOMING EVENT: Facebook live with Brazilian player Rogerinho R9

Friday, February 12, at 7pm EST:

International Academic Program / Universidad Autónoma de Madrid VXI        Research Symposia 2021

The IAP-UAM 2021 symposia is aimed at professors and researchers from universities in Latin America and Spain with the aim of promoting collaborative work to identify academic and research activities at a global level. In this event, two virtual courses are offered that have 5 ECTS (academic credits) recognized by the Doctoral School of the Autonomous University of Madrid (EDUAM), with Doris Sommer as a collaborator:

  • Facilitating Leadership in a Knowledge-based Society – June thru July, 2021, targeted at PhD students.
  • Sociability in Renaissance 4.0 – May and July 2021, for doctoral students, university professors and professionals linked to academic institutions.

Stay tuned to hear more. For more information:


Pre-Texts News

Taller Pre-Textos | USAID Paraguay

Our work in Paraguay continues!  El Insituto Desarrollo, based in Asunción, Paraguay, with the technical and financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), continues workshops for learning the Pre-Texts Methodology. Workshops led by Doris Sommer are being conducted through early March. Stay up to date and see more  info here.

Pre-Texts in Nairobi

“This month has been an eventful one for our Kenya team. We are gearing up for two projects in Kenya this year. In the first project, we are training recent high-school graduates as Pre-Texts facilitators. These facilitators will be assigned to three high-schools in Kibera—a large urban slum where nearly 300,000 people live in an area the size of Central Park. In our second project, we are collaborating with a renowned Kenyan Doctor, Prof. David Ndetei, on a project to gauge the public health outcomes of Pre-Texts on local communities in Kenya. In the coming months, we look forward to updating you on our progress.”

-Tom Osborn, Africa Regional Director

See our website to stay tuned for updates.

Updates from Thinkseries, China

Think Series, Creative Writing Competition

The 2019-2020 Creative Writing Competition was organized by the People’s Literature Publishing House in December 2020 in Shanghai, China. Eight students from Grades 3 to 5 from NACIS in Shanghai won the first prizes and 2 awards of excellence.

Think Series, Language Out Loud Competition 

There will be a Language Out Loud competition as a part of Think Series this February in Hong Kong. The competition will recruit 20-30 schools to read classic stories and extend to writing and artistic expressions. Part of the semester-long competition also includes a Teacher Training workshop in Pre-Texts, which will run from February 21-27.

See here for competition details:

Digital, International Pre-Texts

Our team at Cultural Agents has been facilitating two separate workshops over January and February.

Tom Osborn’s workshop has participants from our international partners in Kenya, India, Brazil, and beyond. Certain participants will be going on to work with the Kenya team on their new projects.

Abby Miranker and Camila García Melado are facilitating a workshop with participants in over six countries, many of whom are representing host organizations for our pilot internship program.

Women Leading Change

A group of women from Cañada Real who participated in Pretexts Workshops in 2018 lead the citizen movement for the fight for improvements in living conditions in Cañada Real Galiana, a neighborhood in Madrid with more than 8,000 people and which constitutes the largest irregular settlement no basic services from Europe.

See articles in the Guardian and the New York Times to learn more about what is happening with housing rights in Cañada Real.



Pre-Texts is offering a 8-10 week, remote, and funded opportunity to be trained as facilitator in Pre-Texts and be paired with a host organization. Partner organizations include political think tanks, research projects with international universities, policy teams, independent artists, and nonprofit organizations.

Scan the QR code or visit for more information, partnering organizations, and application details.

Intern with Cultural Agents through BLISS!  DEADLINE FEBRUARY 18

The Harvard College BLISS program is a summer residential program for Harvard undergraduates designed to provide a formative and substantive social science research experience and to promote community, creativity, and academic excellence.

Harvard Undergraduates can apply to work on Cultural Agents’ “Cases for Culture” research through the BLISS internship. Our project involves research on the impact of participatory arts in violence prevention and civic engagement will support good policy decisions by government and NGOs. This internship opportunity is to review existing projects in Nashville TN, Tulsa, OK, Atlanta, GA, and Boston, MA and develop a comparative grid of activities and outcomes that will help to support good policy.

Click here for project details and application information

Highlighted News

Intern with Blueprint for Accountability

Blueprint for Accountability is a non-profit organization and performing arts incubator, dedicated to producing artistic work that enhances the experience of living. Blueprint brings together artists of differing fields to celebrate a wide variety of voices and traditions. Blueprint of Accountability seeks enthusiastic and hardworking interns who are interested in human rights, social justice, and arts.​


Updates from the Shamiri Institute

Shamiri is preparing to bring evidence-based mental healthcare to more young people than ever before in 2021. The need is great this year: COVID-19 has increased challenges for already at-risk youths in Kenya, where their research shows that 1 in 2 students struggles with common mental health issues. That’s why Shamiri has been getting to work, with the support of donors and school partners, to help youths develop the tools to meet these challenges.

Learn more about the work at Shamiri on their website:


Caminos de Paz Cases for Culture Cultural Agents Opportunities Partners Pre-Texts Rennaisance Now
March 4, 2021
by Rodriguez