Newsletter, May 2017



Arts and Humanities Civic Engagement


Cultural Agents is an interface between academic learning and civic engagement. The Initiative promotes arts and humanities as social resources.



Intimate Rumors: Landscape, México and Cold War (in Colombia)
  • WHEN: May 12 / 1:20 pm
  • WHERE: Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia (Auditorio Germán Arciniegas)
  • Cl. 24 #5-60, Bogota
  • WHAT: The next 12th of May will be occurring at the Biblioteca Nacional (The National Library of Colombia), the first academic meeting of Rumores Íntimos.Paisaje, México y guerra fría (Intimate Rumors. Landscape, México and Cold War,) a project coordinated by José Luis Falconi and commissioned by the Bachué Project. Interested in precise researchs, the Bachué Project has invited foreign investigators to surround some blind spots in the art history of Colombia, and open up a discussion, to make them emerge from the mist of myth and rumor. This encounter will count with the presence of Jose Luis Falconi and Doris Sommer in company of Boston investigators Ana María Reyes and Robin Greeley, and ASAB teachers John Castles, Christian Padilla, Emilio Tarazona, and Guillermo Vanegas.
  • Find more information at:
Simbolic Reparation and the Post-Conflict

  • WHEN: Friday, May 12 | 5 p.m.
  • WHERE: Library Universidad Externado de Colombia (Calle 11 No. 5 – 60) Bogotá
  • WHAT: Professor Yolanda Sierra León coordinated the Conversatorio Reparación Simbólica Postconflicto (Simbolic Reparation and the Post-conflict) that will have place at the Library of the Universidad Externado de Colombia on May 12th. Anette Pearson (a lawyer and restorative justice expert), Yolanda Sierra León (Professor and Director of DAC (Derecho, Arte y Cultura) at Externado University), Diego Gonzáles (Constitutionalist Lawyer and Teacher at Externado University), Uldi Jimenez (Justice and peace Magistrate), José Luis Falconi (Fellow of the department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University), Doris Sommer (Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African American Studies), Juan Manuel Echavarría (Colombian Artist), Robin Greeley (Professor at University of Connecticut), and Ana María Reyes, (Professor at Boston University), will complete the scenery where they will discuss the role of art and culture as alternative mechanisms in transitional justice penalties.
  • Visit:
Presentation of Cultural Agents Reloaded:
The Legacy of Antanas Mockus
  • WHEN: May 13 | 4p.m.
  • WHERE: Library Fondo de Cultura Económica (Calle 11 No. 5 – 60) Bogotá
  • WHAT: Cultural Agents Reloaded: The Legacy of Antanas Mockus, academic book edited by Carlo Tognato and José Luis Falconi is coming out the next 13th of May at the Fondo de Cultura Económica (Economic Culture Fund). The event will have special guests: Antanas Mockus, Doris Sommer, Ángela Perez, and Claudia López, who will be presenting the volume that includes several essays, interviews and commentaries from different researchers. This event is possible thanks to the support given by Universidad Nacional de Colombia, ( Centro de Estudios Culturales, CES), Arte GT 2001 (Guatemala), Centro Nicanor Restrepo Santamaría para la Reconstrucción Civil CENIRS (Bogotá/ Ciudad de México), Cultural Agents and the Abello Family.

General News: Cultural Agents 

Interview with Doris Sommer

In this interview, Doris Sommer, principal lecturer at the Department of Romance Languages at Harvard University reflected on the humanities in the current context. Soon there will be a complete interview in the LAVAPERU project blog.

General News: Pre-Texts




Brief description of the project: 5 day training comprised of two sessions with teachers and students of OCT Primary School in Shenzhen, China.  Participants created aesthetic prompts from two different classical texts, for both Grades 3-4 and 5-6, aligned with Common Core Standards. 


The Agenda included introductions and warm ups within a restorative circle.  Students then were invited to create book covers while they listened to the reading of the text.  Students asked a question about the text.  Students were then invited to share their questions and choose one question to answer.  In this way students learned a variety of perspectives from their peers.  Students also created figurative sculptures, painted characters, made a vocabulary collage and reflected in their journals–all based on characters and scenes from the reading.  Students debriefed by answering the question, “What Did We Do?”

By the end of the training, students displayed confidence in abilities to critically think through the text, in terms of character development, to increase their vocabulary and to extend learning by the activities and going on tangents!

Every student left with various aesthetic representations that displayed a critical understand of the text.  Texts, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish and Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, were explored. Students worked together in groups and independently, practicing listening, reflection and comprehension.

Pre-Texts in Quibdó

During the first semester of this year, 10 Teachers from the Escuela Normal Superior de Quibdó have been applying the Pre-Texts methodology in their classes, capturing the strength of a better reading comprehension, developing as well strategies to transform sociocultural aspects of political and socio-cultural relevance in the classroom.

Through the follow-up process, knowledge as an experience have been exalted by teachers, making the tracing of the methodology implementation as rich as the main Pre-Texts workshops inside the classroom. In this particular case, we have found how important Pre-Texts is to recognize the local manners related to apprenticeship, giving the major importance to the oral practices in chocoana culture, understanding it, not only as a tool inside the workshops, but also as an important way of making a trace of those processes. Although technological resources are an issue in this community, teachers have faced the situation by making extremely precise and extensive oral reports, in order to keep the Pre-Texts follow-up group aware of the process.

Featured Story

OncArt, Inc.

OncArt, Inc., is an international nonprofit based in Boston, Massachusetts that connects clinicians with artists to create illustrated health education materials. OncArt materials are designed especially for people in low­ resource regions where clinicians do not speak the same language as their patients, advanced rates of disease are high, as well as illiteracy. is a trademarked responsive web application that implements OncArt’s concept. The site is binary: it offers a collaborative design tool and a library of works searchable by user­ generated hashtags. OncArt invites clinicians to Request Illustrations for their health messages, and artists to upload media for these requests. Clinicians and artists’ co­designed works are saved in the Library to be deployed to patients by printing the work or sharing the work’s URL. The site was built by SMPC.

We invite you to check and follow this amazing initiative:
Instagram: oncart_org
Facebook Page:
Pre-launch Website:

For more information on upcoming events, please visit our website:

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Caminos de Paz Cases for Culture Cultural Agents Opportunities Partners Pre-Texts Rennaisance Now
May 2, 2017
by Rodriguez