Who We Are
We are developers of good leads for learners. Pre-Texts is inspired by a range of popular Latin American creative practices, from reading in tobacco factories and performing stories, to hanging poetry on a clothesline and improvising poetic duels. The trigger, though, was Sarita Cartonera’s solution to its business challenge. The Peruvian artisanal publisher needed to create readers if it hoped to sell its cheap but beautiful cardboard books. “How do you make readers?” The question still dogs most educators and development workers worldwide. Sarita’s answer is a parting of the waters: “Don’t treat books like sacred objects; they are raw material for making new works.” If students lose their fear, if they engage rather than try to memorize, books become companions, even toys.
By 2008, Pre-Texts had launched in Mexico and Massachusetts to achieve academic rigor through artistic irreverence. Since then partners include Harvard and other universities, city governments, ministries of culture and education, public and private schools, musicians, and courts of law. For a glimpse of this range, see “Track Us.”
Along with projects on Symbolic Reparations, Prevention of Domestic Violence , Courses, Public Events, and Publications, Pre-Texts makes social contributions through arts and humanities at the Cultural Agents Initiative, Harvard University. Cultural Agents Inc. is also an NGO whose President is José Falconi.