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Lecture by Jeremy B. C. Jackson and performance by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs


Ocean Space
Admission fee
Free of charge

The realm of TBA21–Academy is strictly interdisciplinary because we believe that to study any substance of planetary significance (the dominance in the case of oceans) we need to investigate it via expertises, experiences, methodologies, content-value systems and languages of as many fields and cultures as possible. This evening brings on one stage fabled American scientist Jeremy B. C. Jackson together with the rising star of experimental poetry LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs.


Jeremy Bradford Cook Jackson is an American ecologist, paleobiologist, and conservationist. He is an emeritus professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, senior scientist emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution, visiting scientist at the American Museum of Natural History Center for Biodiversity and Conservation and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jackson studies threats and solutions to human impacts on the environment and the ecology and evolution of tropical seas. He has published eleven books and more than 170 scientific publications. Jackson has received more than a dozen prizes and awards including the BBVA International Prize in Ecology and Conservation, the Paleontological Medal and the Darwin Medal of the International Society for Reef Studies. His new book Breakpoint: Tending to America’s Environmental Crises, was released by Yale in 2018.



Where does one pray amidst luxury condominiums taking claim to the waterfronts; have we paused to thank these waters, to bid farewell before our journeys; do we sing to our relatives, to those lost long ago in bitter menacing passages for fresh waters. we dredge the waters’ bottom. we continue our worship of service economies, ignoring inequalities to both land and sea dwellers. when did we stop asking for spiritual permission to enter the sea, the lake, the river, the tributaries that lead to this vast ocean? what are the names of our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers overboard? have we named our unborn? Puerto Rico, Sudan, Syria, Haiti, Congo, Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, New Orleans, Iraq... what is the sum of life?

We often lie to ourselves that we can control the ocean the weather. we say to ourselves that we own this sand this soil this peat this earth this space as we reclaim fill drain dump contaminate. how do we wash our spirits clean? the whale shark in the Churaumi Aquarium mega fish tank goes round & round because it has no choice. and the false killer whale has no choice but to entertain on command. in the early mornings in Venice, have you noticed the spirits of young African men begging near these canals? what have their eyes witnessed against the currents and what of the cruise ship disrupting the underwater like fallen asteroids? on the banks Waddenzee in the Netherlands, have you noticed the swallows in search of food whose Frisian names may have long disappeared from language?

Sedna, Neptune, Tangaroa, Namaka, Yemanja, Kanaloa, Olókun, Atabey, Orca, Nommos, Pariacaca, Susanoo, Mami Wata, La Sirène, Madre del Agua, Iyemọja, Amphitrite, Iyemọnja, Erzulie, Poseidon, Ezili, Agwé, will you hear us when we return to you?

Writer, vocalist, and sound artist, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of highly acclaimed TwERK (2013, Belladonna); three chapbooks which include Ichi-Ban and Ni-Ban (MOH Press), Manuel is destroying my bathroom (Belladonna Press), and the album Televisíon. Her work has been published in the LA Review of Books, Black Renaissance Noir, Nocturnes, Journal of Pan-African Studies, P.M.S, Jubilat, Everything But the Burden, and Fence, among others. Her interdisciplinary work has been featured at The Walker Art Center, The Kitchen, Yale University, Cal Arts, Whitney Museum, MoMA and the 2015 Venice Biennale, to name a few. She has received scholarships, residencies and fellowships from Headlands Center for the Arts, Caldera Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Harlem Community Arts Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Barbara Deming Memorial Grant for Women, the National Endowment of the Arts, Creative Capital Award and most recently the Whiting Foundation Literary Award. As an independent curator, artistic director and producer, LaTasha has produced several literary/musical events for Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The Black Rock Coalition, The Highline Park, The David Rubenstein Atrium, Poets House, El Museo del Barrio and is the co-founder and co-editor of Coon Bidness/SO4. She is a native of Harlem.


Limited Capacity. Free entry. Book your ticket