Cultural and Humanitarian Agents is a seminar co-sponsored by the Cultural Agents Initiative and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and features a range of contemporary mentors who recognize art and interpretation as fundamental to active citizenship. The series works within a long humanistic tradition dedicated to civic development. In particular, it focuses on identifying artists, educators, and leaders who have developed creative practices that reflect on the role of art in building civil society and responding to its challenges. In the spirit of a new General Education course offered by Harvard College, “Rx: Arts for Global Health,” this semester’s seminar series dives deeper and more explicitly into the topic of global health. Academics, artists, and politicians across Buenos Aires, Milan, and Provincetown will pose provocative questions and present personal cases about the role of the arts and aesthetic in breaking disease patterns that travel not only biologically and socially, but culturally. Our seminar begs the big question: How can global health initiatives break emerging patterns of illness and disease by building cultural and humanitarian agents?


Upcoming Events

Diego Fernandez, Secretary for Social and Urban Integration, Buenos Aires
What is a Slum? Welcome to #31, Buenos Aires
Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 4:30pm
Room 133, Barker Center

About the Speaker

Diego Fernández oversees one of the most ambitious and visionary projects in the history of Buenos Aires - integrating the "shantytown" of Villa 31 into the fabric of Argentina's capital by expanding educational infrastructure and bringing running water, a sewage system, and electricity to its 40,000 residents. Previously, Fernández was the Chief of Staff of the Buenos Aires Ministry of Education. In 2009 he also co-created G25, a non-profit organization that seeks to bridge the public and private sectors and foster public engagement. This seminar will explore the aspirations of the Villa 31 project and consider the role of creative and architectural interventions as part of transformative urbanization.

Please RSVP for this event.

In collaboration with DRCLAS (David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies).

Free and open to the public.

Jay Critchley, Multimedia Artist and Writer
Affirmative Re-Action
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 4:00pm
Room 114, Barker Center

Free and open to the public.

Pier Luigi Sacco, International University of Languages and Literatures, Milan
Reclaiming the Public Domain through Massive Cultural Capability Building
Monday, November 6, 2017 - 4:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Free and open to the public.

Theresa Betancourt, Boston College
Talk Title TBA
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 4:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Free and open to the public.

Past Events 2016 - 17

Symbolic Reparations
Kaira M. Cabañas, University of Florida
Clinical-Artistic Tableaux: The Emergence of Art as Psychiatric Care in Transatlantic Perspective

Past Events 2015 - 16

Alejandra Ballón-Gutierrez, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Kimberly Theidon, Tufts University
Red Carpet: A Possible Form of Affective Politics
Simon Hosie
Planos Vivos: Architecture and Community Engagement in Colombia
Araceli Alonso, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Nikumbuke: Women Turning Structural Violence into Health and Well-Being
Fabienne Le Houérou, Sciences-PO (Aix)
Asylum in France: The Rising Paradox of Individual Compassion and Collective Rejection of the Refugees 1990-2015
Fabienne Le Houérou, Sciences-PO (Aix)
“WOMEN ON THE EDGE” A Tibetan Case Study of Angie a Woman on the Edge in India

Past Events 2014 - 15

Nandita Das, Harvard University
The Role of Arts in Social Change
Jorge Munguía, Buró-Buró
Strategies for Cultural Participation
Mexico at a Crossroads: Political Crisis, Civic Agency and Culture

Past Events 2013 - 14

Matthew Mazzotta, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
OPEN HOUSE: A House with a Secret
Fred Ritchin, New York University
Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen
Panel Discussion with Artists in Context
FeFa in Context

Past Events 2012 - 13

Luis García Nava and Carolina Chávez Mendoza (OSIMMPE)
"he Recovery of the Mixteca Language in the Municipality of Santa María Peñoles, Mexico"
Pablo Rey Mazón, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Basurama: A Framework for Designing Collectively with Waste”

Past Events 2011 - 12

Jocelyn Kelly, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
"Visual Stories: Working with Reintegrating Child Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo"
Raúl Cárdenas, Founder and Director of Torolab
"Contested Territories and the Transborder Farm Lab"
Alfredo Jaar
"It is Difficult"
David Lammy, MP, British Labour Party
A conversation with David Lammy
Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogota
"Art in Action: Creative Governance for Cities in Crisis"
Naseemah Mohamed, Harvard University
"The Art of Literacy: A Post-Colonial Pedagogy for Zimbabwe"

Past Events 2010 - 11

Marcos Porras
Oliver Lee Arce
Inaugural Presentation of the Annual "Cátedra de Cultura de México" Award
Pedro Reyes, artist, Mexico
"Palas por Pistolas / Guns for Shovels: Art for Social Change"
Ana Blohm, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
"Art and Medicine"
Frank Pearl, High Counselor for Social and Economic Reintegration in Colombia
"Art for Social and Economic Reintegration of Rebel Groups in Colombia"
Gustavo Buntinx
"Between the Earth and the World: The Shamanic Moment in The Symbolic Exhumation of the Disappeared"