Cristina Morales (MA) is a transdisciplinary cultural practitioner who works as a researcher, writer, curator, speaker, critical pedagogue and artist at the intersection of art and politics. She has worked internationally since 2002 and is currently based in London, UK. She holds a Master in Cultural Production from the Open University of Catalonia, and a Bachelor in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Barcelona, Spain. Known for her creative and holistic approach to activism, Cristina is currently the founding curator of the first decolonial thinktank mapping and exploring Cultural Activism worldwide, Counterspace. The founding artist of the Situationist brand of political designs and performances Totem Taboo. And she writes periodically in English, French and Spanish on Decoloniality, on personal and community development through art, and on African and African diaspora arts & culture, published by national, international and specialised media such as the London Institute of Contemporary Arts (London); El Mundo (Madrid); Humanities, Arts & Society (Paris); A Beautiful Resistance (Seattle); Inhabit (Global); Ouvrage (Montreal); Wiriko (Barcelona); and Radio Africa (Barcelona).
-Ism | 2020- Present, London / Los Angeles. -Ism is an international consultancy working with a global network of transdisciplinary, ancient wisdom, ecological knowledge, algorithmic, quantum, consciousness and legacy building humans. Rooted in Adah Parris’s manifesto ‘Cyborg Shamanism’ and Marques Anderson’s cultural strategy ‘The Anatomy of Transformation’, this platform believes that ancient wisdom with new technologies leads to futurist innovations. Under its umbrella, decentralised pattern recognition, problem-solving and experiences to begin again.
Fellow Member | Co-creation of content and fellow member.
Counterspace | 2019 – Present, London / International. Counterspace is the first decolonial thinktank mapping and exploring Cultural Activism worldwide. Shaped by the space-time of the decolonial process, Counterspace’s unlearning zone-phase comprises resources and experiences to unpack and redefine so far consisting of online and printed publications, a decolonial library, decolonial labs, and forum talks. And Counterspace’s relearning zone-phase comprises resources and experiences to reconnect holistically so far consisting of a Radical Imagination library, Mutation School, Mutants podcast, and a Cultural Activism global network browsable by continent, praxis and social construct. A Beuys-inspired ‘Social Sculpture’ directory which by connecting the dots, links the experiences and culture shakers (artists, curators or both) creatively decolonising culture, inspiring others to join the collective machinery towards change.
Founding Curator | Researcher. Curator. Editor. Author. Speaker. Lab facilitator. Podcaster. Communication. Key achievements: Founding curator of the first decolonial thinktank mapping and exploring Cultural Activism worldwide. Founding curator of the first Decolonial Lab. Founding curator of the first holistic Mutation School. Published by Humanities, Arts and Society + Memory of the Future (Paris); London Institute of Contemporary Arts (London); A Beautiful Resistance (Seattle); Ouvrage (Montreal); and Inhabit (Paris). Partnered up with Actipedia + Center for Artistic Activism (New York), Social Art Network (UK), -Ism (London), Publib (UK), Utopian Studies Society (UK), and Antiuniversity Now (London). Community organising fostering Social Practice Art global networks, and unity bridging neocolonial and hierarchical gaps, as a key collective liberation factor in a – still dividing – identity politics activism 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 Art in disenfranchised and gentrificated Peckham neighbourhood.
Interarts | 2014, Barcelona / International. Interarts is a private agency which specialises in human development through culture via cultural policies and cultural cooperation.
Project Assistant – Content Curator | Curator of Fomecc – Creative Industries Networking Platform in Spain, South America and West Africa, researching and selecting content, community build-up and follow-up. Key achievement: Community organising fostering creative industries international networks.
Ribermusica | 2007-2009, Barcelona. Ribermusica is a nonprofit organisation with a long trajectory working on social art 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 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: Democratising art, creating different art circuits, providing space for Barcelona’s multidisciplinary arts underground scene, facilitating international and local community gathering and intentional intersection contexts of dissent / liberation. Inspiring following independent backpackers hostels bringing arts & culture to their spaces worldwide.
ESSAYS / ARTICLES
DECOLONIALITY : PSYCHOLOGICAL, SOCIO-CULTURAL, POLITICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, SPIRITUAL AND NATURAL APPROACH
Ouvrage | Ouvrage is a Canadian publication based in Montreal reviewing revolutionary and autonomous theoretical and practical reflections to resist inertia. This essay is with them published in French. Translated by Etienne Simard and proofread by Stephanie Logrado. Publication | ”The Great Pause’. A Decolonial Approach for Life Beyond Neoliberalism.’– June, 2020.
London Institute of Contemporary Arts | ICA is a London-based institution supporting radical arts & culture. This essay is featured in ICA Daily permanent archive of recommended reading, viewing and listening from the ICA‘s curatorial team. Proofread by Claudia Loughran. Publication | ”The Great Pause’. A Decolonial Approach for Life Beyond Neoliberalism.’– May, 2020.
Inhabit | Inhabit is a French publication providing tools for freedom in French and English. This Pandemic Trilogy was selected by Inhabit as one of the best readings of the entire pandemic along with authors such as Naomi Klein, David Abram and Giorgio Agamben among others and featured in English in their permanent archive Territories. Proofread by Claudia Loughran. Publications | ”The Great Pause’. A Decolonial Approach for Life Beyond Neoliberalism.’– May, 2020. ‘On Crisis and Meaning. And the Liminal Revolution in-Between.’– May, 2020. ‘A Power-exposing Microbe Called Crown.’ – March, 2020.
A Beautiful Resistance | A Beautiful Resistance is an American anti-capitalist and pagan organisation running Gods & Radicals Press. Proofread by Claudia Loughran and Mirna Wabi-Sabi. Publications | ‘‘The Great Pause’. A Decolonial Approach for Life Beyond Neoliberalism.’ – May, 2020. ‘On Crisis and Meaning. And the Liminal Revolution in-Between.’ – May, 2020.
SOCIAL PRACTICE ART / CULTURAL ACTIVISM : HUMAN AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH ART
Humanities, Arts & Society + Memory of the Future | HAS is a Paris-based organisation by UNESCO-MOST, International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences, Global Chinese Arts and Culture Society and Memory of the Future, which mission is to create a worldwide movement of artists and thinkers demonstrating what is the role and impact of arts on society and universal issues. This essay is published in English and French in a joint project called Open Windows. Proofread by Claudia Loughran and Jordi Miranda. Publication | ‘The Common Thread: Art as Counterspace.’– April, 2020.
El Mundo | Voces is a Spanish foundation with a blog in the Spanish national press El Mundo advocating for human and social development through disruptive arts & culture. Edited by Cristina Alvarez de Mon. Publication | ‘Intercultural Dialogues through Art.’ – March, 2014.
AFRICAN AND AFRICAN DIASPORA ARTS & CULTURE
Radio Africa Magazine | Spanish cultural container dedicated to contemporary African arts & culture. Edited by Clara Nuñez. Publication | ‘Bronx : Africa. The influence of African Culture in Bronx.’ – February, 2016.
Wiriko | Spanish magazine specialised in contemporary African arts & culture. Edited by Vanessa Anaya. Publications | ‘From Roots Reggae to Dancehall in Jamaica.’ – January, 2016. ‘Staying Power: Afro-British Self-Representation.’– April, 2015. ‘Afro Comb: 6.000 Years of Culture, Politics and Identity.’ – October, 2013. ‘African Echoes: On Cosmopolitan Identities and Trends.’– March, 2013.
VISUAL AND PERFORMANCE ART
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. Producer. Stylist. Art Director. Communication. Key achievements: First brand of contemporary ethnic 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 fashion brand dressing the contemporary free jazz scene with a Sun Ra’s inspired collection. First contemporary ethnic fashion brand creating Debord-inspired performative ‘Situations’. Stocked at biggest museum of anthropology in Europe -Quai Branly Museum’s boutique in Paris, and the biggest African fashion hub in London, 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 / 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 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 customisation during gentrification.
Walking Gallery | 2012, Barcelona. Performer for Barcelona’s Walking Gallery.
WORKSHOPS & RELATED TALKS
Decolonial Lab | 2020, International. The Decolonial Lab by Counterspace is a non-hierarchical grassroots forum experience rooted in Critical Pedagogy, holding space for an in-depth theoretical introduction to the concept of decoloniality + contemporary decolonial practices with practical cases. And a collective exploration of the subject + co-creation of a new paradigm discussing what does practically mean to decolonise ourselves and our world in relation to absolutely any topic. As Decolonial Lab is the first and only of its kind, where health and the expansion of both personal and community development is understood as a necessarily holistic and interdependent exercise on a physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and natural level. The experience is then catalysed connecting psychology, socio-cultural anthropology, politics, spirituality and natural sciences, with the aim of healing while building the new instead of focusing on fighting the old, minding the whole picture. And addressed to people from all walks of life and locations ready to build through relational learning new pools of alternative collective knowledge in circulation.
Founding Curator – Critical Pedagogue | Host curator and critical pedagogue of monthly international Decolonial Labs online for individuals. And host curator and critical pedagogue of live and online Decolonial Labs for groups, facilitated by Counterspace.
Primary | 2020, Nottingham. Primary is an artist-led contemporary visual arts organisation prioritising artistic research and participatory arts providing residencies and running a free public programme of learning and community events. Their approach to programme is to invest in artistic research and learning through participation and engagement delivering a platform for conversation and knowledge exchange which by employing a cycle of theory, practice, and reflection, creates collaborative relationships between artists, audiences, and the wider society.
Host – Critical Pedagogue | Host and critical pedagogue of the online ‘DECOLONIAL LAB FOR CULTURAL ACTIVISTS‘ in the frame of Making Place exhibition and the monthly forum Social Practice Social, curated by Rebecca Beinart and facilitated by Primary.
Social Art Network | 2020, UK / International. Social Art Network is a British platform of artists committed to building agency via art and Social Practice. Unapologetically political and unreservedly radical in approach and practice, SAN believes the only creative response to our current climate is radical politics as art. Understanding politics not as governmental parties but as the social collection of people, where true meaningful change is generated. In art, this translates into emotional resonance with the state of our society and crises we collectively inhabit. But it also translates into vision imagining new ways of living with one another, where creativity has always led the way in conceiving revolutionary routes. Created in 2017, SAN met early success launching the Social Art Summit 2018, a national review of Social Practice leading to the artist-led national network; and expanding dialogue and a pilot for the world’s first Social Art Biennial.
Co-Host – Guest Speaker | Guest speaker and co-host of the decentralised and practice-led online event on ‘RADICAL IMAGINATION‘ along with Social Practice artists Sophie Hope, Fran Cottell, E-J Scott, R.M Sanchez-Camus and Ignacio Acosta, curated by Sally Labern and facilitated by Social Art Network London.
Guest Speaker | Guest speaker in the online event ‘DECOLONISING ART&CULTURE: UNLEARNING AND RELEARNING THROUGH CREATIVE PRACTICE‘ along with artist Sofia Yala N’Lolo, hosted and curated by Susuana Amoah, and facilitated by Socially Engaged Salon and Social Art Network Brighton.