The Sea:
Sounds and Storytelling
October 2 – December 6, 2020
La Criée - Théâtre National de Marseille

Gardien de la paix, 2011 © Lena Maria Thüring
Acoustic Ocean, 2018 © Ursula Biemann
Chronicles of that time, 2020 (in progress) © Maria Ioro & Raphaël Cuomo
Te Haa Kui o Tangaroa,2019-20 © Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll
Tomoko Sauvage performing at WOS festival, Santiago de Compostela © Leo Lopez

The connotations – both ecological and political  – of the ocean and, in particular, of the Mediterranean Sea are in constant flux. During two days of performance, discussion and screenings, The Sea – Sounds & Storytelling proposes listening to the ocean itself, living matter that preserves memory, as well as to voices and narratives that have crossed the seas.

An approach both artistic and scientific, pursued via round tables in light of art projects by Ursula Biemann, Khadija Carroll, Binta Diaw, Maria Iorio & Raphaël Cuomo, Dagmawi Yimer, Tomoko Sauvage, Julie Semoroz, and Lena Maria Thüring, and with scientists and theoreticians whose practices revolve around listening to, analysing, discussing and highlighting voices of the sea.

The project revolves around two moments, each centering round different inquisitive themes. 

I: October 2:  Sounds
La Criée and online until October 31

What is inscribed and stored in the sea? Are there sounds, languages, voices and stories that we can extract from it? How can we learn to listen to them? The first day of the programme The Sea – Sounds & Storytelling, under the umbrella of "sound", follows the idea to listen and learn from artists and scientists whose practises focus on recording, listening, analysing, discussing and giving visibility and voice to the sea and its organisms.

Films :
Lena Maria Thüring, Gardien de la paix (GPX), 2011, 18 min 47 sec
Ursula Biemann, Acoustic Ocean, 2018, 18 min
Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, Te Moana – The Ocean, 2019–20, 30 min, commis- sioned by TBA21–Academy

Presentation and Round Table Talk:
SONARS – an experiment in long-term artistic and scientific residency
Laurent Chauvaud and Gwenn Potard

The presentation is followed by a discussion with Lena Maria Thüring, Julie Semoroz and Thierry Perez.

Tomoko Sauvage, Waterbowls, sound performance, 40 min
Julie Semoroz, BALEINA, sound performance, ca. 35 min

II: October 3: Storytelling
Exclusively online on and

Once a shimmering blue projection screen for holiday dreams, the Mediterranean Sea is now a symbol of migration movements and the hopes of so many people. On a political level, today it is not only one of the deadliest border regions in the world, but also an accelerant of xenophobic zeal. In view of these shifts, it is of great importance to seek and include other, polyphonic stories and diverse, also non-European perspectives, and to ask with just as much urgency whether and how these voices are being heard and where the memories attached to them are preserved. On this second evening dedicated to ‘storytelling’, we search for these voices and listen to the stories that crossed the sea.

Introductions by Gioia Dal Molin and Simone Frangi.

Films :
Maria Iorio & Raphaël Cuomo, The Interpreter, 2009, 36 min
Maria Iorio & Raphaël Cuomo, Appunti del passaggio, 2014–2016, 43 min
Dagmawi Yimer, ASMAT – Names in memory of all victims of the sea, 2015, 17 min
Dagmawi Yimer, Nothing but the sea, 2011, 49 min

Audio piece :
Binta Diaw, Agropoetics: Chorus of Zong, 2020 Audio, 1 min 18 sec

A collaborative two-day programme of Centre culturel suisse (Paris), Istituto Svizzero (Rome), Institut Kunst (Basel), and TBA21–Academy, hosted by La Criée Théâtre, Marseille as part of Les Parallèles du Sud initiative by Manifesta 13 Marseille – The European Nomadic Biennial.
Claire Hoffmann (Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris), Chus Martínez (TBA21–Academy and Institut Kunst) and Gioia Dal Molin (Istituto Svizzero, Rome), assisted by María Montero Sierra (TBA21–Academy).
Ursula Biemann,  Laurent Chauvaud, Binta Diaw, Simone Frangi, Maria Ioro & Raphael Cuomo, Dagmawi Yimer, Thierry Perez, Gwenn Potard, Tomoko Sauvage, Julie Semoroz, Lena Maria Thüring and Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, and Cédric Aurelle.