Cultural Agents News
For Voices: DRCLAS, Harvard University
By Doris Sommer
Who is an artist and an interpreter? Potentially all of us, to follow Friedrich Schiller who wrote Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man in 1794. That was during another crisis, Terror in the French Revolution. Slyly, he asks in the second letter, whether art may be an untimely issue, as I just asked about our crisis. His answer is bold and compelling: Without art nothing changes; humanity will spiral into more violence, death, and despair. He appeals to us to make art – a surprise move, an unexpected creation that stops the enemy in his tracks – and he counts on our natural faculty to be creative. We have a drive to play, a Spieltrieb in Schiller’s newly minted word.
Today, Cultural Agents at Harvard University (RLL and AAAS) takes this call to action to heart in response to COVID19. Given the isolation of schoolchildren worldwide, and the limitations of current on-line learning, we have developed a digital version of the Pre-Texts protocol.Digital Pre-Texts is now working with Mexico’s Secretaría de Educación Pública in Normal Schools, Chile’s Ministry of Culture in the network of public libraries, Paraguay’s Instituto de Desarrollo.
Cultural Agents has also responded with a novel approach to the alarming spike in domestic violence during the pandemic. Practically all current work in this area is directed at women, alternately called victims or survivors, when they do survive. Men have not been the target of attention, although their behavior is at issue. Cultural Agents will launch a program in Brazil, for starters, to engage men in activities that interrupt boredom and provide energetic alternatives to aggression. It is led by professional soccer players and called “Futebol Viral.”
“Futebol Viral” is an interactive platform designed to engage men and to mitigate the Covid19 spike in domestic violence. All the programs we have seen in this area are designed to protect women by enabling denunciations [very difficult in these circumstances] and getting them out of abusive households [also difficult]. Hardly anyone is addressing men who can change their behavior. Our soccer player friends know that change is possible, through pleasure and peace at home. With Brazil as a starting point, we will probably launch in other countries too.
See more here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=596381717637684,
Frente a nuevos desafíos, nuevas soluciones: Educación humanista hacia una sociedad de convivencia
El 8 de mayo en una sesión online de IAP Talks, la profesora Doris Sommer abordó la temática “Frente a nuevos desafíos, nuevas soluciones: Educación humanista hacia una sociedad de convivencia”.
El International Academic Program (IAP) de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) en España, lleva a cabo programas y talleres en colaboración con el Centro David Rockefeller para Estudios Latinoamericanos (DRCLAS) en el campus de la Universidad de Harvard en los Estados Unidos con el patrocinio de la Fundación Asisa. El IAP-UAM organiza y apoya iniciativas docentes y de investigación creando un espacio común entre académicos, científicos y profesionales vinculados con universidades europeas, norteamericanas, de América Latina y del resto del mundo, teniendo como referencia a profesores de la Universidad de Harvard, MIT y ponentes de otras instituciones de prestigio mundial.
Para más información: http://eventos.uam.es/go/dorissommer, http://www.iapsymposia.com/
Social (Distant) Practice with Doris Sommer, Pedro Reyes, and Tálata Rodríguez
On Saturday, April 18th, Doris Sommer, Pedro Reyes and Tálata Rodríguez met on Zoom to discuss how to adapt tools for creative learning during the times of social distancing. It was hosted by the Galeria Labor in Mexico City. Watch the video of the talk here: https://vimeo.com/412864048