Fishing Fly
From the worm to the mouth

Pellestrina. Photo: Maria Montero Sierra
Mercado Maravillas. Photo: Maria Montero Sierra/
Venice Lagoon. Photo: Maria Montero Sierra

Are care and respect possible while eating the Ocean? Do those practices provide an imagination to act responsibly? 

Conceived and led by María Montero Sierra, Fishing Fly is a research project encompassing a reading group, a serial publication, and various manifestations in the form of new commissions and collaborations revolved around a simple premise: eating marine creatures and the crafts involved in the process also sustain relationships between the human and oceanic more-than-human ecosystems. 

Inspired by the work of Hreinn Fridfinnsson, Fishing Fly began at the end of a simple hook, seeking to unearth the cultural and aesthetic intricacies behind a seemingly anodyne object. Fishing Fly concentrates on the moments of encounters as a means to restore the agreement of care, respect and human self-control. The aim is to recognize in the everyday performances and the rituals learned through generations that define and acknowledge with respect a shared ecosystem and in the stories, oral histories and fiction that continue to animate human imagination of how to conceive those spaces.
Reading Group
How do we get our hands back into the water? How do we break down the sensorial alienation codified within these systems? These questions have been at the forefront of the group’s work for six months and have informed the direction of their inquiry.
January 29 – May 21, 2021
Alejandro Alonso Díaz, Amandad Choo Quan, Dolly Church, Nuno da Luz, Greg Dvorak, Camila Marambio, María Montero Sierra, and Abdourahmane Seck 
Bestor, Theodore C. (2001). “Supply-Side Sushi: Commodity, Market, and the Global City”, American Anthropologist, Mar., 2001, Vol. 103, No. 1: 76-95.

Todd, Zoe. (2018). “Refracting the State Through Human-Fish Relations: Fishing, Indigenous Legal Orders and Colonialism in North/Western Canada".DIES: Decolonization, Indigeneity, Education, and Society 7 (1): 60-75. 

Todd, Zoe. (2017). “Fish, Kin and Hope: Tending to Water Violations in amiskwaciwâskahikan and Treaty Six Territory.” Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry, 43, 102–107. 

Bennett, Jane. (2007). "Edible Matter". New Left Reviews. 45 (May/June)

Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. (2020) "Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals." AK Press. Chapters 2 and 4 “Breath” and “Practice”

Helmreich, Stefan; Roosth, Sophia; Friedner, Michele. (2015) "Sounding the limits of life: essays in the anthropology of biology and beyond." Princeton University Press. 

Publication | Online
Fishing Fly is a serial publication of short fiction that animates vernacular and futuristic conceptions of marine life and human relationships. In the midst of shuffling the widespread disconnection with the ocean, the gathered fiction stories reconcile care, respect, and consciousness of possible more-than-human relationships. The state of the ocean and the marine life are also a reflection of human behavior that has often tended to extractivist, abusive, profitable, speediness, and selfish approaches discarding precious situated knowledge including fishing and cooking craft and the powerful rituals of storytelling. This series of short fiction infuses into the actions transmitted through generations to connect us with the salty waters and its many lives.
Karin Amimoto Ingersoll, Amanda Choo Quan, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Veronica Stigger
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Commission | st_age
Pájaro, cómeme, a short film by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, commissioned by TBA21–Academy for TBA21 on st_age, is part of a larger research work by Santiago Muñoz on the ways the subconscious intervenes in the creation of sensory images. The available research cluster consists of a podcast on the littoral zone and the Caribbean conceptions, a conversation with the artist to explore the realization of the short film and Muñoz's previous writings and explorations of the world of the unconscious.
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nesting, a video work by Trinidad & Tobago-USA-based artist and performer Fana Frase, was commissioned by TBA21–Academy for TBA21 on st_age. It continues Frase’s work honoring Black women’s bodies and the ways in which the African-Caribbean connection is kept alive. Frase’s video performance crosses the ecosystems by mimicking the journey of the leatherback sea turtle in its popular seasonal hatching on Trinidad and Tobago’s beaches to support the artist’s claims in favor of reproductive rights and the rights of Caribbean LGBTIQA+ communities who continue to endure homophobia every day. The performer incarnates the forces of the Yoruba Orishas, Oya and Oshun—the West African Yoruba belief system that was introduced in the Caribbean through the transatlantic slave trade during the Middle Passage—on her journey to “beaching.”
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Convivial Tables: The Cross Between Food and Ecology | Program​
Convivial Tables is TBA21–Academy’s active research program dedicated to the ties between food and ecology and how these affect bodies of water led by María Montero Sierra and Barbara Nardacchione with Markus Reymann. Its first edition, “Entrée: The Pannier of the Lagoon,” took place at Ocean Space, Venice, in 2022, in close collaboration with chef Marco Bravetti and TOCIA!. Local chefs, producers, activists, and researchers participated in the discussions at the table, in workshops, and as part of a public program aiming to cultivate an active network with several Venetian groups and associations involved in designing and reflecting on other forms of relating to the environment as we nourish ourselves. 

This research program is aligned with the principles of regeneration and more-than-human rights promoted by the project Zoöp, which TBA21–Academy is a partner in.
Ocean Space, Venice and the Venice Lagoon
May – October, 2022
María Montero Sierra and Barbara Nardacchione with Markus Reymann
Lorenzo Barbasetti di Prun (Prometheus_Open Food Lab), Marco Bravetti (TOCIA! Cucina and Comunità), Giulia Busato (Tòcio), Fabio Cavallari (Barena Bianca), Chiara Pavan (Venissa), Silvia Rozas, Marco Zambon (Birraria La Corte) 
Camila Marambio, Jane da Mosto, Anna Perdibon
Matti Aikio, Lorenzo Barbasetti di Prun, Alberto Barausse, Marco Bravetti, Ariel Bustamante, Diego Calaon, Janet Cardiff, Simone Carraro, Barbara Casavecchia, Maria Costan Davara, Luigi Divari, L. Sasha Gora, Lodovica Guarnieri, Taloi Havini, David Hrankovic, Ursula Johnson, Sonia Levy, Mercedes Lopez, Camila Marambio, Jane da Mosto, Jimlea Nadezhda Mendoza, Meredith Root-Bernstein, Anna Perdibon, Diana Policarpo, Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam, Renata Sõõukand, Chiara Spadaro, Davide Tagliapietra, Marco Zappalorto.
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