Newsletter, October 2020

Upcoming Events

Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Global Urban Safety Indicators and Monitoring Tool 

Cultural Agents will participate in The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Global Urban Safety Indicators and Monitoring Tool will take place virtually 26-28 of October of 2020. A pioneer in the use of urban safety indicators, UN-Habitat Safer Cities Programme is an ideal co-host for this high-level EGM on the Urban Safety Monitor, to be organized with the support of Madrid City Council. This EGM will set the project’s course for years to come as part of the 2020’s Decade of Action Campaign.

Engine for Art, Democracy and Justice: Performativity and the Social Body, Episode 5

Initiated by Dr. María Magdalena Campos-Pons, “Engine for Art, Democracy and Justice” (EADJ) is a platform for creative and social exploration that takes visual representation as a focus for developing new knowledge and new practices.

EADJ’s fifth episode on October 21st will consider performativity as a practice of resilience, resistance and transcendence. Sociality, subjectivity, and other concepts of embodied research, will be discussed as antidotes to structures of oppression, inequity, white supremacy, and patriarchy. Participants will include:

Moderator: Candice Amich, Assistant Professor of English, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, US
Speakers: Doris Sommer, Director of Cultural Agents Initiative and Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University, US; Cecilia Vicuña, Artist and Poet, New York, US and Santiago, Chile; Nikki A. Greene, Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora, Wellesley College, US.
Respondent: Grace Aneiza Ali, Assistant Professor and Provost Fellow in the Department of Art & Public Policy at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, US.
Artist intervention: Shamell Bell, dancer, choreographer, lecturer on Somatic Practices and Contemporary Global Performance, Harvard University.

SAVE THE DATE: October 21, 2020. Register here.

Seminario internacional sobre Paz, Seguridad y la UNSCR

Webinar: Construyendo la hoja de ruta de la UNSCR en un mundo en crisis e incertidumbre desde la perspectiva Latinoamericana. Miércoles, 28 octubre de 2020.

Conmemorar los 20 años de la aprobación de la UNSCR 1325 y la agenda Mujer Paz y Seguridad, promoviendo su difusión en la Región LAC, mostrar los avances en su implementación y aportar a definir una ruta a seguir en un contexto de crisis e incertidumbre en las Américas y la comunidad latina.

Miércoles 28 de octubre 2020, de 16 :00 a 18:30 hrs. (hora Perú)
Duración: 150 minutos aprox. (2 horas y media)

International Summit on Domestic/Family Violence During the COVID Era

The Summit will provide a platform for: victims-survivors of domestic violence to share their experiences and concerns; experts to present comparative worldwide findings; program leaders and caregivers to share best practices in responding to, treating, and preventing domestic violence; and governments and policymakers to share effective policies.

A key goal of the Summit is to re-energize the commitment of all stakeholders, including individuals, families, community institutions, such as faith-based, educational, media, cultural and other organizations, and governments on local, national, regional and international levels for a world free of domestic and all other forms of violence. The Summit will be recorded and live-streamed on social media.

SAVE THE DATE: November 18-20, 2020. Register here.


Libertades Literarias: Afrolatinoamérica escribe

Coordinado con el seminario “Libertades literarias: Afrolatinoamérica escribe,” facilitado por la profesora Doris Sommer, este ciclo de conversaciones virtuales explora técnicas y estrategias literarias con brillantes autores. Sus creaciones inspiran a soñar, pensar, reflexionar y recordar porque, por definición, el arte es irreverente con la realidad y por eso es capaz de alentar cambios. El valor agregado de estas conversaciones a las importantes entrevistas ya realizadas sobre temas y experiencias personales, será la atención particular al arte de escribir desde la encrucijada de culturas llamada Afro Latino América.

5 de noviembre 2.30-3.30 pm EST con Nancy Morejon
12 de noviembre, 2:30-3:30 pm EST con Mayra Santos-Febres
18 de noviembre, 2:30-3:30 pm EST con Fabienne Kanor
Registro e información


Futebol Viral Challenge

The main Brazilian soccer clubs fight violence against women by avoiding and suspending contracts with players who are involved in such acts. Futebol Viral Mundial continues with this same purpose, launching another challenge. We invite men to publish a video where they are cooking a delicious recipe. Come and participate! Learn more here.

El Péndulo – Unicanal Paraguay

Doris Sommer y José Molinas hablarán de Pre-Textos en el programa conducido por el periodista Carlos Peralta, El Péndulo, el miércoles 21 de octubre a las 21:00 horas de Paraguay (8pm EST). El programa se puede ver en vivo por Unicanal.

Pre-Texts News

Lown Scholars Program – Intro to Pre-Texts

On Oct. 27th, Pre-Texts facilitators Camila Maciel and Tom Osborn will engage the Lown Scholars Program. The program was established in honor of Dr. Bernard Lown, a world-renowned cardiologist and activist, whose career has advanced public health globally. It is designed to create an international cadre of talented health professionals who will use public health tools and strategies to prevent cardiovascular diseases and promote cardiovascular health in developing countries, as defined by the United Nations. Since its establishment in 2008, the Lown Scholars Program has supported the work of more than two dozen Lown Scholars from Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Pre-Texts with the Global CoCreation Lab

We continue to facilitate a bi-weekly Pre-Texts workshop for approximately 15 members of the MIT Global CoCreation Lab.

On Oct. 17th, Ari Mazzeo and Emilia Pfannl completed a wonderful Pre-Texts workshop over 6 sessions for 25 international young scientists of the Girls Global CoCreation Lab.

Check our Digital Pre-Texts page for regular updates.

Introducing New Staff Members

Tom Osborn, Africa Regional Director

Tom graduated from Harvard College in 2020 with a BA degree in Psychology. His work focuses on interventions that provide young people in Sub Saharan Africa with an opportunity to secure important life outcomes. He has worked on mental health, academic and social support interventions through the Shamiri Institute. Tom plans to roll out Pre-Texts within the education system in Kenya in the next couple of years.  Read more about Tom here.

Abby Miranker, Internship Manager

Abby is a recent graduate from Brandeis University who concentrated in Art History and Latin American and Latino Studies. Her value of global citizenship and fascination with art as a sociopolitical tool has taken her from participating in performance art in the Boston area, to art fairs in Mexico City, and even working with contemporary photographers at the Havana Biennial.


Pratil Suthar, Research Intern

Researcher at the Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad (IIM-A), Pratik’s  multidisciplinary work includes Public Policy and Social Studies, Sustainability- Climate Change, Social Innovation, Rural Development, etc. He has worked at the Parliament of India and Indo-German Center for Sustainability at IIT Madras, among other distinguished appointments.


Rebeca Simões Brito, Research Intern

Rebeca is a visiting researcher with the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University. She has been involved in community projects since 2018 in partnership with the Brazilian Consulate and researchers from UMass Boston, Harvard University and MIT. Her passion is in STEAM, creative learning and Pre-Texts.



Caminos de Paz Cases for Culture Cultural Agents Opportunities Partners Pre-Texts Rennaisance Now
October 4, 2020
by Rodriguez