Summit Reader


The 2018 Creative Time Summit Reader is a compilation of resources designed to be read in conversation with the presentations and discussions taking place throughout the convening. The Reader has been put together by the Summit’s curatorial and production teams. We hope that the books, articles, videos and projects below will provide useful context to the Summit 2018 themes for our audience in Miami, as well as for our community around the world. The Reader features works by this year’s speakers and other eminent artists, activists and scholars. Where possible, our priority has been to seek out quick links to entirely free and downloadable resources including critical and creative articles in popular press, YouTube videos and talks, as well as open access academic writings.
The reader also contains a Summit themed glossary of terms.



On Boundaries And A Borderless Future



Around the world, immigration policies and border controls continue to dominate headlines and political debates, influencing decision-making, transforming identities, and dividing communities. Faced with a dehumanizing rhetoric around immigrants and refugees, intensified levels of surveillance, as well as increasing compassion exhaustion, activists and artists continue to fight for empathy and engagement while risking persecution themselves. Rather than fixating on the divisive boundaries between ‘them’ and ‘us’, how do we bring the two closer together, to universalize the migrant experience? How can we imagine impossible possibilities otherwise discarded in politics, which could produce new models of citizenship or the dissolution of global borders?





Facing Climate Realities, Reimagining A Green Future



This section intersects the local and the planetary, indigenous knowledge and scientific cultures, multispecies and human solidarity. Delving into ecological thought and revealing critical tools for the climate justice movement, we will highlight contemporary responses to climate change, extinction of species, and extractivist threats to the environment. How are these threats affecting our understanding of ourselves and our common futures? What does it look like when communities refuse to drown, and instead unite in collective resistance in the face of radical uncertainty brought about by climate disasters and consistent inaction from world powers?





Towards An Intersectional Justice



Due to rising inequity and violence across divides of race, class, and gender, ideals for equitable and responsive governments are further distanced from present-day mindsets. Identity politics has resurfaced with a renewed urgency, from new forms of activism to the way in which various national politics has become infused with group definition. This section positions questions of who is privileged, who is excluded, and who has power at the intersection of gender, race and class. What are some of the crucial aspects of queer, feminist, anti-racist, and post-colonial perspectives from which practitioners have developed emancipatory politics for our times?


Wooldridge, Talia. “¡Escuche Las Krudas!: Raw, Feminist Rap Music from Havana, Cuba.” Canadian Women’s Studies | les cahiers de la femme, vol. 27, no. 1, 2009. Print.




Resisting Displacement And Violence



Across the world, from Miami to Istanbul, from Buenos Aires to Bucharest, forms of aggressive gentrification have become widespread, oftentimes signaling the rapacious influence of cultural trends. Questions of resisting the tide of urban development must also confront existing class inequality, structural violence and racial prejudice. Every city offers a different story, and there is much to be gleaned from the injustices felt and the struggles taking place at different breaths and rhythms. What new forms of engagement do artists, activists and other agents integrate into their environments? How can governments and policymakers support a cultural production that makes cities sustainable?


Douala-Bell, Marilyn and Lucia Babina. Douala in Translation: A View of the City and its Creative Transformative Potentials. Episode Publishing, 2008.
Petrešin-Bachelez, Nataša. “Innovative Forms of Archives, Part 1: Exhibitions, Events, Books, Museums, and Lia Perjovschi’s Contemporary Art Archive.” e-flux journal, no. 13, February 2010.




Archipelagoes Of Resistance: Activism, Art And Social Struggles In Miami, The Caribbean, Latin America And Beyond



How effective are activists and social movements in making Miami a more inclusive, ecologically resilient, socially just, and democratic city? What similar struggles are taking place in the Carribean, the Global South and what is their impact globally? This section focuses on sites of resistance, instances of engagement, and solidarity within communities, as well as tools and strategies affecting positive change in response to a range of tough challenges.








What do we mean by “resistance” and “activism” in art and culture today? What do “eco-gentrification” or “combined and uneven development” refer to in the context of Miami? How have “archipelagoes” spanned geography and time to become the foundation of planetary cultural notions? This Glossary addresses the necessity of developing a terminology to make theoretical articulations more clear and accessible to our audiences. It includes key terms used frequently by our Summit contributors in the material presented in the Reader.





Stemming from the Ancient Greek anthropo (‘human’) and cene (recent’), the term Anthropocene refers to the most recent geological period, one in which humanity has become the determining factor in environmental and geophysical changes to the planet. As the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly felt around the globe, thinkers such as Pablo Desoto are asking what we can do to sustain the future of our ‘damaged planet’?
Defined as the act of preserving or protecting something, today conservation is most often discussed in reference to preventing the exploitation and destruction of natural resources. For further insight see the work of one of our speakers, Colibrí Sanfiorenzo-Barnhard who for the past 13 years has been instrumental in developing grassroots education and conservation actions in Puerto Rico.
Dark Ecology
For Timothy Morton, one of our keynote speakers, the awareness of ecology in contemporary society resembles the form of a strange loop or Möbius strip in the sense that it is one-sided and geared towards humans. In his writings on ‘Dark Ecology’, Morton invites us to reconsider our relationship with nature, arguing for a future of coexistence where ecological awareness no longer privileges humans, and instead works to create a fruitful dialogue between the human and non-human that can, in his words, ‘brighten the dark, strange loop we traverse.’
Coined by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel in the nineteenth century, ‘ecology’ was first applied to the study of animal relationships to their organic and inorganic environments. Since then, ecology has been established as a branch of biology which seeks to study the relationship between organisms and their environments, with scholars such as Jason W Moore writing on the subject.
Ecological Crisis
Ecological crises occur when changes to the environment endanger the survival of a particular population or species. Sometimes referred to as a ‘tragedy of the commons’, today’s ecological crises are often the product of human activities and their subsequent impacts on the environment. Measures to reduce these effects are crucial to stemming the degradation of our environment and ensuring the survival of populations and species.
Eco Gentrification
As societies across the globe recognise the importance of green spaces in urban planning and regeneration efforts, so too must they deal with the negative impacts that these can have on local communities. Eco-gentrification refers to the phenomenon in which the establishment of green projects, often designed on the premise of benefiting residents, increase land and property values in the surrounding area. As a result of facing higher rent and living expenses, many existing residents are forced to leave. Recent examples of this include the High Line in New York; see Jeanne Haffner’s article for further details.
Extinction refers to the process in which a species begins to die out and ceases to exist. Although some examples of extinction are the product of natural evolution, there are many which are the result of human interference, such as the decline of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the threat of bee extinction due to the use of pesticides in farming.

Humanity is the collective term for human beings. Often associated with the idea of ‘humankind’, the term humanity conjures up connotations of compassion, fraternity and understanding between beings. However, in the wake of the anthropocene the consideration of others can be called into question as habitats and species become endangered through human consumption, thus calling for a reconsideration of what collective existence and humanity really means today.
According to Timothy Morton, hyperobjects are objects that are independent of human thought and thus transcend notions such as time and space. An example of a hyperobject is global warming. For Morton hyperobjects are floating entities that are able to alert humans to the impending ecological dilemmas that they are facing and raise further questions about the environment in which they are living.
When a species or population has always existed or lived naturally in a particular environment this is known as being indigenous or native. Throughout history there are many examples of the degradation of environments harming indigenous species and populations as their means for survival have been ruined or confiscated. In spite of this, today there are many activists working to combat the erasure of indigenous cultures. See, for example, the work of one of our speakers, Yahalétke / Rev Houston Cypress, founder of Love the Everglades and Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson’s film documenting the work of Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu which will be shown as part of the film series.
Most commonly found in science fiction and philosophy, posthumanism is a concept that attempts to describe an existence or state that is beyond human. In opposition to the concept of humanism first conceived in the Renaissance, scholars such as Donna Haraway argue that posthumanist beings do not have autonomy over their environment. Instead, posthumanist beings are dependent on their environment for survival and are of no greater importance than other species and beings, together forming part of a larger evolving ecosystem.
The term species is used to describe a set of organisms that share particular characteristics. In biology species are categorised taxonomically in order to classify distinctions between organisms. In ecology, species can be defined in relation to certain organisms adapting so as to be able to survive within their habitats.




Black Lives Matter(BLM)
Following the acquittal of the police officer responsible for the death of Trayvon Martin in 2013, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi founded Black Lives Matter. Described by its founders as an ‘ideological and political intervention’, BLM aims to ‘support the development of new Black leaders, as well as create networks where Black people feel empowered to determine their destinies in our communities.’ Today BLM has grown into a global activist network and continues to be an instrumental force in challenging racial inequality and promoting inclusivity within society.

Discrimination refers to the singling out or unjust treatment of people or things usually as a result of their race, gender or sexuality. In spite of government regulations condemning this practice, discrimination is still faced by many in today’s world.
Often used as a synonym for liberation, emancipation is the act of being freed from legal, social or political restrictions. Activist networks and the development of emancipatory projects are crucial in combating the continued struggle for the emancipation of all beings and things. For examples of such practices see the work of the following artists who will be featured as part of our film series at SoundScape Park: Laura Huertas Millán, Popo Fan and Terence Nance.
Identity Politics
Since the 1960s the term identity politics has been used to define political positions premised on the shared beliefs, interests and perspectives of social groups with which people identify. Such groups have been the force for change and allowed marginalised voices the opportunity to be heard.
Incarceration is the act of imprisoning a person. In the USA alone it is estimated that there are around 2.3 million people currently incarcerated and serving prison sentences. Those incarcerated are often the targets of discrimination with a disproportionate number of people in prison being from non-white backgrounds.
Introduced by the scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, intersectionality refers to the complex ways in which different forms of discrimination combine and the effects that this has on those who are subordinated. Whilst the term was first used in relation to feminist studies and the exclusion of women of color from societal debates, in recent years the term has been increasingly applied to queer theory and critical race theory. See the work of one of our speakers, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, for an example of an artistic response to intersectionality.

On a broader scale the term justice is used to describe the qualities of being fair or moral, particularly when making decisions concerning the treatment of others. Today justice is discussed in various forms, ranging from individual struggles and rulings made against persons to collective efforts that seek social justice for wider communities.
In 2006 the activist Tarana Burke founded the MeToo movement to raise awareness and help survivors of sexual violence, particularly amongst young women of color. The movement gained further awareness after a hashtag (#MeToo) went viral in October 2017, in which social media users were prompted to share their own experiences of sexual violence in order to demonstrate the pervasiveness of sexual assault and harassment faced by women. #MeToo continues to create a dialogue surrounding the topic and support survivors of sexual violence.
The term privilege is often used in discussions of social inequality. Privilege refers to the advantages or rights that a particular person or social group may have over others resulting in preferential treatment. Privilege can frequently be found in the context of disability, ethnicity, gender, race, sexuality and social class.
Structural Inequality
Structural inequality is a concept in which institutions create systems of privilege that continue to oppress marginalised groups within society. Dominant social institutions such as education, politics and the workplace, amongst others, reinforce ideas and practices that discriminate against particular social groups, thus sustaining inequality.




Combined and Uneven Development
The concept of combined and uneven development was first introduced by the Marxist theoretician Leon Trotsky in the early twentieth century. From observing other countries, Trotsky argued that, despite certain degrees of interdependence, that to a large extent, many countries developed independently of one another, thus resulting in disparities in lived experiences around the globe as a result of the unequal distribution of people, resources and wealth amongst populations.

Community refers to both a group of people living together as well as shared interests resulting in people feeling a sense of collectivity. In a time when communities are increasingly being displaced due to ecological, political and social violence, questions over how communities are created, formed and sustained are essential to ensuring the preservation of collective identities. Such concerns can be found in the participatory work of one of our speakers, Hassan Darsi.
According to UNESCO, displacement ‘refers to the forced movement of people from their locality or environment and occupational activities.’ This social change is often the result of economic changes, environmental and natural disasters, or political violence. For examples of this, consult the writings of one of speakers, Vijay Prashad or the art of Rena Rädle and Vladan Jeremićwhose work will be shown as part of the film series at SoundScape Park.
In recent years gentrification has featured more frequently in debates concerning housing and urban living. The term is used to describe the renovation of already established environments so as to cater towards the influx of wealthier residents. As areas are redeveloped, rent and property values increase and communities change thus forcing pre-existing residents who are economically or socially disadvantaged to leave in spite of having established roots in these areas. See our speaker Anna Minton’s writing on the effects of gentrification in London for further information.
Shelter is one of the most basic human needs alongside food and water. The term is used to describe temporary forms of protection against hardships, whether they be caused by environmental, financial, personal or political circumstances. The term suggests a safe space in which nourishment and protection can be provided, an atmosphere and environment which the Creative Time Summit seeks to replicate.
Social Cleansing
Social cleansing refers to the act of large-scale removals of members of societies or social groups which are considered by dominant institutions to be undesirable. This can manifest itself through displacing and relocating communities, and, in extreme cases, eradicating entire populations through violent means.

Social Housing
Social housing is accommodation that is provided by, paid for, or subsidised by non-profit organisations, local authorities or governments. Unlike private property social housing is designed to be affordable and is allocated on the basis of need. In theory, social housing provides people on lower incomes with the opportunity to live in safe environments. However, increasing cuts to public funding means that many residents in social housing are finding themselves in inadequate accommodation without the appropriate means for survival. See the work of one of our speakers, Anna Minton, for further insight into this topic.
Discussions of sustainability are centered around ensuring that the abilities of future generations to meet their own needs are not compromised. In order to achieve this it is essential that communities work together to conserve natural resources and use local materials so as to be able to preserve environments for future usage. See the work of one of our speakers, Brigada Puerta de Tierra, for an example of this in practice.




Border is a political term used to describe the artificial lines that separate geographic areas from one another. A border denotes the area that a particular governing body may control, meaning that they are able to enforce laws and regulations within their given area. Borders have implications for migration, particularly in areas where travel is restricted or in which checks are required to cross borders.

Similar to a border, a boundary is a physical or artificial line that separates things from each other and marks the limits of a particular area. In geopolitical contexts a boundary often refers to a dividing line between cities, states or countries. Boundaries have been and continue to be subject to environmental, political and social change.
To be a citizen means that a person is, or has become, a legally recognised subject of a particular state either by being born there, having a familial connection to a particular place, or through the process of naturalization. As a citizen a person is entitled to the legal and social rights granted to legally recognised subjects within a particular area. See Nisha Kapoor’s writing on the recent Windrush scandal for further elucidation of this topic.
Stemming from the Ancient Greek word meaning ‘to scatter about’, today the term diaspora is used to describe the dispersal or spreading of cultures, languages or peoples that were once localized. Diasporas are often caused by displacement and forced migrations resulting in multicultural societies across the globe. See the work of our keynote speaker Edwidge Danticat who writes about Haitian diaspora and her experiences as a Caribbean immigrant.
Migration Crisis
The U.N. defines migrants as being ‘any person who changes his or her country of usual residence.’ Most recently the term migrant crisis has been applied to the influx of people entering Europe, usually in precarious circumstances. With border closures and restrictions being placed on migrants, the situation is worsening for vulnerable people seeking new lives, with one report suggesting that this year alone 1 person in every 18 died or went missing during their journey to Europe. The term has also been applied to migration between the USA-Mexico border and the border between Venezuela and Colombia. See the work of the artist Oliver Resslerwhose work will be featured as part of our film series at SoundScape Park.
According to the U.N., a refugee is a person who has been forced to flee their own country as a result of persecution, violence or war. Refugees are those who are unable to return to their home countries for fear of discrimination and persecution most likely on the basis of their ethnicity, political opinions, race, religion or sexuality.  

A stateless person is someone who is not considered as a national of any country or recognised state. Some people are born stateless whilst others, usually through no fault of their own, become stateless through forced displacement. The implication of being stateless includes having difficulty accessing basic human rights such as education, freedom of movement and healthcare.
Transnationalism is the notion that ecological, economical and political processes can transcend borders. Closely associated with globalization, transnationalism refers to the cooperation across borders that enable parties to participate in activities that build networks across boundaries and cultures, resulting in the increased interconnectivity of people around the world.
To be undocumented is to be without appropriate legal documents which prove your existence or right to be within a particular environment at a specific time. This means that undocumented persons often face difficulties accessing education, employment and healthcare. See the work of Lorena Manríquez and Marlene McCurtis whose documentary, Here I’ll Stay will be shown as part of the film series at SoundScape Park.




Activism is the action of campaigning to bring about political or social change. Without the continued efforts of activists throughout history many laws protecting the rights of human and non-human entities would not have been passed. Many activists feature in our lineup of speakers and filmmakers, including the Afro-Cuban hip-hop group Krudas Cubensi and the Brazilian activist network Frente 3 de Fevereiro, amongst others.

An archipelago is the term used to describe a collection of islands or an expanse of water containing a number of scattered islands. Using this as a metaphor, archipelago can also refer to a group of things containing similar characteristics, such as activist groups campaigning for similar causes. Édouard Glissant famously used the term to espouse lessons from the cultural realities of the Caribbean which can point to new ways of thinking and being in the world.
Protesting is a public expression of disagreement, disapproval or objection to something, usually relating to government legislation. Protests can take many forms, ranging from mass public demonstrations (such as the Women’s March), signing petitions, and acts of civil disobedience (such as sit ins or boycotts).
Broadly defined, resistance is the act of refusing to accept and fighting against ideas, laws and regulations that one might perceive to be unjust. Within political and sociological contexts resistance movements represent an organised effort by a group of people to withstand civil order in the hope of achieving their objectives. See, for example, the work of the artists Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Yanelis Núñez Leyva who will discuss the establishment of the Museum of Dissidence in Cuba as part of our speaker series.

Solidarity refers to the unity produced as a result of beliefs, interests and objectives being shared between different members and groups of society. Through shared efforts to combat oppressive regimes activists are able to unite and thus strengthen the foundation of their movements, paving the way for future collaborations.
Tropical Hardwood Hammock
Tropical hardwood hammocks are closed canopy forests which act as critical habitats for many plant species found in South Florida. The tropical hardwood hammocks are able to sustain the environments needed for many plant species of West Indian origin to survive. Examples of these structures can be found on the Miami Rock Ridge, in Sand Keys and in the Everglades.