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About City

Olga Sorzano

PhD Student

Department of Culture & Creative Industriesnull

E: olga.sorzano.1@city.ac.uk

Thesis title (working): Cultural Value: A Comparative Perspective in Valuations of Circus Arts in Colombia and the UK

Professor Toby Miller and Professor Andy Pratt

Affiliation to Research Group/Centre: The Circus Research Network (Britain and Ireland)

Course start date and mode of study: Sept 2012 / Full Time

Summary of current doctoral research

Olga Lucia’s work is focused on valuations of art and current debates around ‘cultural value’, which joins cultural studies and cultural policy disciplines to deconstruct economic valuations of the arts.

The research examines circus movements in Colombia and the UK as case studies. It is centred on perceptions, notions and values of circus and culture that artists, policy makers, managers and other practitioners provided in personal interviews or informal conversations, complemented with literature  on circus and other relevant disciplines. This project investigates further understandings and functioning of culture across borders: modern and non-modern canons; formal and informal structures; global south and global north; and connections between economic, political, social and cultural spheres.  It also reflects on narratives behind understandings of culture and the ‘exportation’ of management models like the ‘creative industries’ model and the risks of a possible ‘cultural value’ model.

Research interests

  • Relationships between economic, social, political and artistic spheres
  • Modern and non-modern canons
  • Formality and informality
  • Global studies
  • Structures of power
  • Circus and performing arts

Higher education background and previous experience

Olga Lucía holds a BA in Economics from Universidad Javeriana Bogotá (Colombia) and a MSc in Economic and Social Policy Analysis from the University of York (UK). She has an extensive professional experience in the sectors of education and culture both in Colombia and the UK. Before starting the PhD,  Olga Lucia worked with the artistic agency Circolombia in London and the National School Circo Para Todos (Circus for Everyone) in Colombia. As the former Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Colombia in the United Kingdom she was actively involved in promoting cultural and educational exchanges between Colombia and Great Britain  through the coordination of bilateral meetings, the negotiation of MOU’s, artistic residencies and the organisation of a variety of festivals and events. Olga Lucía also worked at the forefront of the policy making in Colombia during five years working at the National Planning Department (DNP),  where she was in charge of conducting research in the social sectors, the distribution of national resources for education, the elaboration of development programmes, and the strengthening of national systems of information.

Other degrees:

  • Diploma in Cultural Diplomacy,CMNS del Rosario Bogota, MRE, Colombia, 2010
  • Diploma in Documentary Production, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Colombia, 2005

Awards and grants

  • Graduate School, City University London. Conference attendance, Ethiopia, 2015
  • MCCI, City University London (research fieldwork) 2015
  • MCCI, City University London. Participation at the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Congress, Bogota, 2014
  • Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (COLCIENCIAS), Colombia. PhD scholarship, 2012-2016
  • National Planning Department Studentship Grant, Colombia. Masters’ Scholarship 2005-2006

Conference presentations

  • (Forthcoming) ‘Is Social Circus different from Professional Circus?: A Global South Perspective to Categorisations of the Global North’. Circus      and its Others Conference, July 15-17 2016, Montréal, Canada.
  • ‘The Value of Circus in the Transformation of Global Society’. Circus Arts Research      Development Congress (CARD2), Circus on the Edge, Stockholm University of the Arts, 10 December 2015
  • ‘The Value of Circus in Societies Today’, First African Circus Arts      Festival, Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, 30 Nov 2015


  • Sorzano, O.L. ‘The      Value of Circus in the Transformation of Global Society’. In Proceedings of CARD2, Circus on the Edge      Conference, Stockholm University of the Arts, 9-11 December 2015.
  • Pardo, R., and Sorzano, O.L. “School Assistance and Drop out Phenomena in Colombia” / “Determinantes de la asistencia y la deserción escolar en primaria y secundaria" in: Cuadernos PNUD-MPS, Desarrollo Social en Colombia. ISBN: 9589545084, v.3, 2004
  • (Contributor) Sorzano, O.L.“Millenium Goals Colombia 2005 Report DNP-PNUD”:  Hacia una Colombia Equitativa e Incluyente. Informe de Colombia Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio 2005. Departamento Nacional de Planeación (DNP), Sistema de las Naciones Unidas En Colombia (SNU). Primera Edición: Diciembre      2006 ISBN: 958-97596-6-1
  • Sorzano, O.L. ‘The Role of Great Britain in the Independence of Colombia’ inMalcom Deas, Anthony McFarlane, Gustavo Bell, Matthew Brown, Eduardo Posada-Carbo. Sorzano, (ed) Commemoration of the Bicentenary of Colombia’s Independence in the UK. Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ISBN 978-958-8244-74-7, June 2011.


2015: Seminar Tutor, Managing Creative Enterprise, BA in Culture and Creative Industries, City University London

2003: Lecturer in Microeconomics, BA Business Administration, Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá

1996-1999: Seminar Tutor, BA Economics, Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá:  Econometrics (1999), Statistical Mathematics and Probability(1998),  Introduction to Economics (1996 – 1997)