Cristina Morales is a London-based Spanish-born cultural activist. Interested in deepening her knowledge of human beings she studied a BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology in the University of Barcelona where, along other experiences, she developed her political consciousness. With a passion for art/creativity as our human expressive language by excellence and our best asset to question, imagine, create and inhabit meaning and other realities, she later specialised with a MA in Arts & Culture Production from the Open University of Catalonia becoming a social practice curator, writer and self-taught artist linking art with politics. She works since then for freelance projects and public, private and nonprofit organisations using arts & culture as an agency tool to challenge society specialising in identity, decolonialism and community development. Examples of such projects and organisations include HostelArt, Ribermusica and Interarts in Barcelona or Black Cultural Archives, Peckham Platform, Mahogany Carnival Arts and Haringey Arts in London to mention a few. In addition to being the founding curator of the first decolonial thinktank mapping Cultural Activism worldwide Counterspace, and the founding artist of the Situationist brand of political designs and performances Totem Taboo, she also writes punctually specialising in Decolonialism and Counterculture, Social Practice, and African and African Diaspora arts & culture, for media such as Voces, Wiriko and Radio Africa.
Counterspace | 2019 – Present, London. Counterspace is the first decolonial thinktank mapping Cultural Activism worldwide. Connecting the dots it creates the first global directory, network and social movement linking the countercultural experiences and radical culture shakers (artists, curators or both) who are creatively decolonising culture, inspiring others to join the collective machinery towards change. Apart from the countercultural directory browsable by continent, praxis and social construct, it also offers other online and offline tools and resources such as panels, experimental labs, a podcast and printed publications.
Founding Curator | Researcher. Content Curator. Panellist. Labs Facilitator. Podcaster. Author. Communication. Key achievements: First online and offline decolonial thinktank, countercultural directory and social movement mapping and exploring Cultural Activism worldwide. Panellist for Cyborg Shamanism Panel by Adah Parris in Shambala Festival – Northamptonshire, 2020. Community organising fostering Social Practice global networks and unity as a key liberation factor in a – still dividing – identity politics activist scene.
Haringey Arts | 2016-2017, London. Haringey Arts is a community interest company developing the North London living/working converted warehouses district of Haringey connecting the creative talent in the area through events, workshops and collaborations creating profile.
Assistant Curator | Curation of commissioned artwork for warehouse related projects. Social Media Manager of ‘Tottenham Creative Warehouse District’. HA website updates & newsletters. Art programme curation for London primary schools with HA artists. Key achievements: Groundbreaking neighbourhood-based platform for gentrification-displaced artists, contexts of care/ dissent/ liberation and intentional intersection spaces for community development.
Black Cultural Archives| 2015, London. BCA is the first national Black Culture heritage public institution in the UK. Its mission is to collect, preserve, and celebrate Black Culture in Britain.
Relationship & Development Assistant | Digital Marketing. Key achievement: Revealing hidden histories of Britain’s Black heritage focusing on social and political issues through art.
Peckham Platform | 2015, London. Peckham Platform is a social art gallery connecting people, art and place in the South London neighbourhood of Peckham believing that communities can inform and shape their engagement with their locality by working with contemporary visual artists bringing meaningful contemporary social practice alive influencing policy making in the area and beyond.
Gallery Assistant | Assisting ‘Twelve’ exhibition by Melanie Manchot, ‘Cuming: a Natural Selection’ exhibition by Janetka Platun and ‘Doing Nothing is Not an Option: in Memory of Nigerian Writer and Activist Ken Saro-Wiwa’ exhibition by Michael McMillan. Key achievement: Fostering Social Practice in migrant, disenfranchised and gentrificated Peckham neighbourhood.
Interarts | 2014, Barcelona. Interarts is a private agency which specialises in human development through culture via cultural policies and cultural cooperation. Fomecc is one of its projects promoting and connecting creative industries in Spain, South America and West Africa.
Project Assistant – Content Curator | Curator of Fomecc – Creative Industries Networking Platform researching and selecting content, community build-up and follow-up. Key achievement: Community organising fostering Social Practice international networks.
Ribermusica| 2007-2009, Barcelona. Ribermusica is a nonprofit organisation with a long trajectory working on Social Practice using music as a tool for cohesion in Barcelona’s neighbourhood La Ribera through several community-based projects. Among them, Ribermusica Festival which brings music performances into unusual places.
Assistant Curator | Booking of 20 unusual venues (shops, libraries, barbershops, bakeries, parks, restaurants, hotels …) for editions 2007, 2008 and 2009. Key achievements: Hosting horizontal music performances, creating contexts of care/ dissent / liberation and intentional intersection spaces for community gathering / development.
HostelArt | 2005-2013, Barcelona. HostelArt was a Social Practice groundbreaking platform in the independent backpackers hostel sector creating an alternative room for arts & culture by developing a nonprofit project where artists, travellers + city audience and hostels, benefited from a free monthly cultural programme. And where artists benefited from international art residencies in other European independent backpackers hostels.
Founding Curator | Production, organisation, administration and communication of ninety-six art exhibitions, four hundred concerts, four hundred Dj sessions, four hundred screenings, two charity theme Festivals, a fashion catwalk, one hundred design markets, five outdoor live graffiti paintings, five big decoration projects and three international art residencies in other European independent backpackers hostels. Key achievements: Groundbreaking platform democratising art, creating different art circuits, space for Barcelona’s multidisciplinary arts underground scene, international and local community gathering and intentional intersection context of dissent / liberation. Inspired following independent backpackers hostels bringing arts & culture to their spaces worldwide.
Totem Taboo | 2012 – Present, International. Totem Taboo is a Situationist brand designing political scenes + scenic artifacts building new collective imaginaries through the visual narrative of the symbol.
Founding Artist | Designer. Maker. Stylist. Art Director. Communication & Sales. Key achievements: First brand of contemporary ethnic / African fashion in Spain since 2012. First Spanish brand present in the most outstanding contemporary ethnic art & design shows in Europe such as Labo International Paris, 2012; Ethno Tendance Brussels, 2012 ; Afropunk Paris, 2016 or Africa Utopia London, 2017 to mention a few. First contemporary ethnic / African fashion brand dressing the contemporary free jazz scene with a Sun Ra’s inspired collection. First contemporary ethnic / African fashion brand creating Guy Debord inspired performative ‘Situations’. Main stockists: biggest Anthropology museum in Europe Quai Branly Museum‘s boutique in Paris and main London-based African fashion hub Soboye . Part of the itinerant scenic fashion collective exhibition Parures organised by conscious fashion organisation Universal Love exhibited to date at Klimafestivalen in Oslo – Norway, 2018.
Mischief Makers Carnival Arts| 2016 – 2018, London / UK. Mischief Makers is led by freelance independent Carnival artist Emma Garofalo specialised in large scale kinetic costumes / puppetry & performance for community development projects all over United Kingdom.
Freelance Costume Assistant & Performer | Costume assistant for Northampton Carnival -London, 2018. Performer for Brighton Pride Parade – Brighton, 2018. ‘Anima Mundi’ Costume assistant for Luton International Carnival (EMCCAN Caribbean Carnival Queen first prize winner) – London, 2017 and Extinction Rebellion – London, 2019. Workshop assistant for Kew Gardens – London, 2017. Costume assistant & performer for ‘Metamorphosis’ at Wandsworth Arts Fringe – London, 2017; Kew Gardens – London, 2017 and Camp Bestival – Dorset, 2016. Key achievements: Fostering /embodying human rights themed participatory arts and politics of public space.
Mahogany Carnival Arts | 2016, London. Mahogany is a group of multi-disciplinary artists led by Clary Salandy and Speedy Ramdeen – trained originally with Peter Minshall – who design and create Carnival large scale kinetic sculptures using the human body in the art form of ‘Mas Making’, Masquerade or Street Theatre having been instrumental in introducing such art across the UK and also being a seminal force in educating European communities in the development of Carnival as a catalyst for bringing together people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Freelance Costume Assistant & Performer | Costume assistant and performer for Lord Kitchener-inspired ‘London is The Place for Me’ collection for the 50th Anniversary of Notting Hill Carnival, winner of first prize and getting a Mahogany’s costume featured in page 29th of current British passport. Key achievements: Fostering /embodying human rights themed participatory arts and politics of public space.
Other Live Art Interventions ~ Participatory / Situationist Performances: Selva | 2015-2016, London. Performer for Trans-form fundraiser (first carnival in India) at The Bussey Building – London, 2016. And Latin culture promoter Movimientos ‘s 10th anniversary at Rich Mix – London, 2015. Our Brixton | 2015, London. Performer for pacific dancing occupation of Tesco supermarket on Brixton Hill, former community music venue. Brixton I love I care | 2014, London. Performer for Brixton’s traffic lights during gentrification. Projecta | 2011-2013, Barcelona. Performer for ‘Paint your Face’ (15M : Anti-austerity movement) and ‘Tube Anti-Xmas Musical‘. Walking Gallery | 2012, Barcelona. Performer for Barcelona’s Walking Gallery.