Cristina Morales is a cultural activist – an applied anthropologist and transdisciplinary cultural practitioner working internationally as a critical researcher, curator/producer, writer, educator, and self-taught multidisciplinary artist at the intersection of art and politics for self and social development. Her practice is rooted in a decolonial and hence intersectional and holistic approach to activism, and a social practice approach to art. She understands healing, health, and the expansion of both personal and community development as a necessarily interdependent exercise on a physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and natural level. And art not as a commodified symbolic product to sell feeding into capitalist structures that confirm the reality we currently live in, but as a relational process that can intervene in reality to transform the current social order and the notion of art/artist in itself. Cristina is a singular trauma-informed cultural strategist linking decolonial theory and the full spectrum of human sciences with social practice art. In 2021, she was granted an artist fellowship at Design Science Studio by Buckminster Fuller Institute and HabRitual (San Francisco) as part of an international cohort of what they called ‘revolutionary artists’ and their decade-long movement ‘The Regenaissance’: a global confluence of multidisciplinary creators of regenerative futures.
In addition to being the founding curator of Counterspace mapping cultural activism worldwide, and the founding artist of Totem Taboo now dressing the avant-garde jazz scene, Cristina is currently a freelance writer on decoloniality, radical imagination, and African / diaspora arts & culture. Her essays, articles, and poems are published by international and specialised media such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), El Mundo (Madrid), Humanities, Arts & Society (Paris), A Beautiful Resistance (Seattle), Inhabit (Global), Ouvrage (Montreal), and Radio Africa (Barcelona). She is also occasionally a guest speaker for organisations such as the Social Art Network (UK), and guest lecturer for universities such as ABK Stuttgart University of Art & Design (Germany). Her first book appearance in ‘Emerging Desires. Planting critical seeds on decoloniality and psychoanalysis’ will be published in 2023.
Growing up navigating intergenerational trauma as a first post-Franco’s-fascist-dictatorship generation (preceded by the Spanish Civil War), being the grandkid of Andalusian rural migrants and interested in deepening her knowledge of human beings, she studied a Bachelor of Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Barcelona (2008-2011). It was then when, alongside the conditioning of her intersectional social oppression and her experience with psychoanalysis, she started to develop her both personal and political consciousness. Driven by an INFJ-A personality type labelled as ‘idealist’ by Jung / Myers & Briggs, her boundless curiosity also had a passion for art as our human expressive language par excellence, and as our best asset to question, imagine, create, and inhabit meaning and other realities. At a time when there weren’t any social practice art degrees in Spain but while already professionally active in that niche, she studied a Master of Cultural Production & Management from the Open University of Catalonia (2012-2014). After finishing her academic studies, she migrated to the Afro-Caribbean neighbourhood of Brixton, in London, to continue pursuing that call.
Throughout her career Cristina has challenged neocolonial / neoliberal products such as the art market, gentrification, and the anthropocene as well as all their hegemonic and intertwined social constructs (such as nation, class, gender, sexual orientation, faith, disability, and race), curating and creating political participatory arts, designing decolonial toolkits, and organising global networks. The intersectional scope of her practice have in the past led her to work with a range of international freelance projects, as well as private, public, and non-profit organisations, covered by media such as The Guardian, BBC News, Essence and True Africa. Projects and organisations such as HostelArt, Ribermusica, and Interarts in Barcelona or Black Cultural Archives, Peckham Platform, and Disability Arts Online in London and the UK to mention a few. Clients and collaborations include Extinction Rebellion (London), Africa Utopia at Southbank (London), Gal-dem (London), Autograph ABP (London), Quai Branly Museum (Paris), Plurality University Network (Paris), Notting Hill Carnival (London), Antiuniversity Now (London), Klimafestivalen + Fashion Revolution (Oslo), Brighton Pride (Brighton), Utopian Studies Society (Global), Afropunk (Paris), and Actipedia by Center for Artistic Activism (New York), among many others.
Cristina is quadrilingual and has lived with, enjoys travelling to, and is forever learning from, different world cultures. Beyond her interest in human/natural sciences, art at large, and her passion for African/diaspora arts & culture, her core motivation other than her pain is a profound awe for life in all its diversity, and for expansive consciousness as a determinant of experience in its full potential. A myriad of life-supporting fields with a common denominator: they are holistically looking at the powerful mystery of both ourselves and the tapestry of our world, at our creativity and liberating practices, and our ability to live becoming.
This site and work are a polymathic counter-archive of visionary resources and experiences shaping alternative imaginaries and social poetics in the building of other presents and futures.
Featured image: Photography by Williamz Omope. Antiflag by Totem Taboo. London, 2017.