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Border Publics, Cultural Activism and Urban Planning with Ricardo Dominguez, Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman, and Ed Morales

  • Loisaida Center 710 East 9th Street New York, NY, 10009 United States (map)

This event is co-sponsored and will be live streamed by The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.

Border Publics, Cultural Activism and Urban Planning
Renowned scholars, artists, cultural activists and critics––Ricardo Dominguez, Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman and Ed Morales––converge to discuss their distinct yet cross-cultural geopolitical perspectives on the intersections of arts and culture, activism and policy, and forced migration. We will consider how might our cultural activism, advocacy, and participatory planning begin working to create stronger collaborative movements and build solidarity within and beyond our multiple communities? In the face of political uncertainties, we will also considerwhat tactics and strategies work to strengthen cultural equity advocacy, to influence policy and to advance equity principles as part of what should be enshrined in NYC’s cultural plan. A report-back on the discussion will be included as a set of recommendations to the New York City Council’s 10 year Cultural Plan.

Teddy Cruz is a Professor of Public Culture and Urbanization in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. He is known internationally for his urban research on the Tijuana/San Diego border, advancing border neighborhoods as sites of cultural production from which to rethink urban policy, affordable housing, and public space. Recipient of the Rome Prize in Architecture in 1991, his honors include representing the US in the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award in 2011, and the 2013 Architecture Award from the US Academy of Arts and Letters.

Fonna Forman is a Professor of Political Theory and Founding Director of the Center on Global Justice at the University of California, San Diego. A theorist of ethics and public culture, her work focuses on human rights at the urban scale, climate justice in cities, and equitable urban development in the global south. She serves as Vice-Chair of the University of California Climate Solutions Group, and on the Global Citizenship Commission (advising UN policy on human rights).

Cruz & Forman direct the UCSD Cross-Border Initiative, and are principals in Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman, a research-based political and architectural practice in San Diego. Their work emphasizes urban conflict and informality as sites of intervention for rethinking public policy and civic infrastructure, with a special emphasis on Latin American cities. Their practice convenes knowledges from across the fields of architecture and urbanism, environmental and social practice, political theory and urban policy, visual arts and public culture, and mediates the interface between top-down institutions and the bottom-up intelligence of marginalized communities. From 2012-13 they served as special advisors on Civic and Urban Initiatives for the City of San Diego and led the development of its Civic Innovation Lab. 

Ricardo Dominguez is a co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT), a group who developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with the Zapatistas communities in Chiapas, Mexico, in 1998. His recent Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab project with Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cardenas, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle Mehrmand, the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cell phone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/US border) was the winner of “Transnational Communities Award” (2008), an award funded by Cultural Contact, Endowment for Culture Mexico–US and handed out by the US Embassy in Mexico. It is on view at the Loisaida, Inc. Center.

Ed Morales is an author and journalist who has written for The Nation, The NewYork Times, Rolling Stone, and the Guardian, among many others. He is a former Village Voice staff writer and Newsday columnist, and author of Living in Spanglish (St. Martins) and The Latin Beat (Da Capo Press), as well as the upcoming Latinx (Verso Press, Fall 2017). He produced and co-directed Whose Barrio? (2009) a documentary about the gentrification of East Harlem, which is currently available from Kanopy. He is currently a lecturer at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, is a fellow of a new working group studying the Puerto Rico debt crisis at the Center for the Study of Social Difference, and hosts a radio show on WBAI FM, Pacifica Radio.

Moderator: Andrea Gordillo is a Peruvian-American filmmaker, producer, writer, and activist. She holds a BA in International Relations and currently finishing hers masters in Media and Cultural Studies at NYU, focusing on the Lower East Side's cultural history and its role in contemporary place-making and urban planning. At Loisaida Center she documents and archives events and activities, and serves on the steering committee to develop cultural policy recommendations to the New York City Council.

Earlier Event: February 4
Opening | Future Now : Futura Ahora
Later Event: February 11
Nativa Remedies