Ocean Week
Ocean Calling
– A performance by Laura Anderson Barbata

Thursday, June 8, 2017, 1–2pm

United Nations Headquarters Plaza


Ocean Calling, 2017 by Laura Anderson Barbata. Photo: Frank Veronsky


Commissioned by TBA21–Academy for World Ocean Day 2017, Laura Anderson Barbata’s work Ocean Calling charts the physical and emotional relationship to life in our ocean and the urgent need for collective transformation. Anderson Barbata – a Mexican artist living and working in New York – has created a lively performative piece that embodies her first-hand experiences and research into ancient wisdom whilst on expedition in Papua New Guinea with the Academy. The resulting work combines spoken word, dance, improvisation, stilt dancing, ritual, procession, costuming and music to create a unique form of storied performance that will unfold in the plaza in front of the United Nations Headquarters.

Ocean Calling is inspired by all the forms of life that make the ocean their home, as well as by the people, the histories and the cosmography of the communities that for millennia have lived in close relationship with the ocean. The work will unfold in an urban environment highly dependent on the health of the oceans, even though it may not be overtly obvious to our urban communities. Ocean Calling will invite audiences to first acknowledge our intersecting identities and then, to celebrate and honor them by changing behaviors to protect our oceans.

The work also highlights the importance of the Declaration signed by Pacific Island Countries and Territories to significantly improve Ocean governance, which was drafted during the Pacific Regional Platform for Partnerships and Action on Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14) meeting, which took place in 2017 in Suva, Fiji.

Ocean Calling has been developed in collaboration with artists from Mexico, Jamaica and the Caribbean diaspora. The first iteration of Ocean Calling was first presented as What-Lives-Beneath in 2016 for TBA21–Academy at "The Kula Ring" Convening in Jamaica.





The performance will take place in the plaza in front of the United Nations Headquarters. Full address:

UN Headquarters, Visitors Entrance

46 Street & 1st Avenue

New York  10017



Ocean Calling is commissioned by TBA21–Academy

Laura Anderson Barbata (artist), Chris Walker (choreographer and dancer),  The Brooklyn Jumbies Stilt Dancers: Najja Codrington, Keil Alibocas, Jabari Rollocks, Dhaunte Richardson and Kyle Lambert. The Brooklyn Jumbies Ground Dancers: Jahde Huntley, Konate Primus, Cheikh Gueye. Mei Yamanaka (choreographer and dancer) with Sinuhé Padilla Jarana Beat musicians.