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Open Call: Sea of Islands

Open Call: Sea of Islands

A sea unites us and names us Caribbean, the same sea that our ancestors wove between islands creating spaces for communication, exchange, encounter, culture and community.

Nowadays, since the invention of the “nations” imposed by the colonizers, the Caribbean Sea is a deadly border. The Caribbean is colonized as otherness; as a racially invisible, fragmented, exoticized and eroticized Caribbean that serves the global North as a tourist paradise, as junkyard, and as experiment of social, economic, scientific, agricultural and military exploitation. We write from that Caribbean, which is isolated from itself, able to reproduce colonial practices from the epicenter of its body-house. These archipelagos share a same open wound. But most importantly we write from that rebellious Caribbean, which reinvents and reinforces itself daily, sowing seeds and sisterhoods.

We are inspired by the idea of a mar de islas (sea of islands) developed by the thinker Epeli Hau‘ofa (1993), who from the Pacific’s colonial perspective invites us to transform that vast ocean of small isolated islands into a sea that is HOME TO HISTORICAL NETWORKS formed by systems of cultural and comercial exchange.

Situated from within the Caribbean, we raise the following question: is it posible to imagine a Caribbean community that allows free and accessible mobility of people between islands and the joint coordination of economic, environmental, social and cultural decisions? From our bonds, roles, and professions, how can we take the chance to look inside and strengthen a network that would allow us to recognize ourselves?

One same Caribbean Sea, one same shout: May the paths be opened towards the union of the Caribbean sisters and brothers!


This encounter of Caribbean artists in the archipelago of Boriken (Puerto Rico) is born from the urgency of embodying our Sea of Islands as an antithesis to the current segregation of the Caribbean. The main objective isto unite and exchange creations, sensibilities, resistances and knowledge among our Caribbean islander neighbors, through the art of performance. From Boriken (Puerto Rico), one of the oldest colonies in the world, this call is launched for the production and presentation of original performance pieces by islander artists living in the Caribbean.

This first edition of Mar de Islas performance encounter of the Caribbean will be held from the 3rd to the 9th of May 2021.

6 artists from 6 different islands will be selected to gather and create our Sea of Islands.

3 ecosystems are proposed: the sea, the forest and the city. Each artist will have the possibility of working in one of these ecosystems in order to create an on-site performance piece. The artists will have a residency period for creating the artworks prior to their public presentation.

In addition to the performances the encounter will have a pedagogical offer through a series of performative workshops available to the general public. These workshops will be taught by local artists, but also by the selected artists who wish to offer a workshop. These workshops will be taught by local artists, as well as by the selected artists who wish to offer a workshop.

The encounter will feature an opening act at the University of Puerto Rico with a discussion together with activists, academics, artists and thinkers from the Caribbean.

Curators and directors of the encounter

Helen Ceballos • artist • researcher • cultural manager • producer •

Marina Barsy Janer • artist • researcher • curator • pedagogue •

Isil Sol Vil • artist • researcher • curator • pedagogue of performance •


_Space for the exchange of knowledge.

_Round-trip ticket and local transportation for purposes of the encounter.

_Accommodation for the days of the encounter.

_Meals (one per day). We will encourage a space for creating a collective kitchen.

_Invitation letter and necessary documentation to process the visa.

_Logistical support (not economic) for the production of the performance.

_Documentation archive of photos and video of the work presented. This material can be freely used by the artists as long as the following credits appear:

“artwork produced by MAR DE ISLAS encuentro de performance del Caribe 2021”


_ The call is open to artists from the Caribbean islands, who are currently living in the Caribbean.

_ Only original works created for the encounter will be accepted.

_ 6 artists from different islands will be chosen.

_ The selected artists are responsible for managing their visas in advance. We will offer support with this procedure.

_ The artists grant the image copyrights of their work to MAR DE ISLAS with the purpose of being part of the

files generated by the encounter (digital and with the possibility of being published and / or exhibited).

_ The participation in this call implies the unconditional acceptance of all and each of its conditions.


_ Personal details (Full Name – Island of Residence - Email – Telephone Number)

_ Reply yes or no to the following question: Have you ever processed or currently have a visa for entering the

United States? (This answer will not be exclusionary)

_ Biography and Statement

_ Curriculum vitae

_ Portfolio of recent works and links (website, Instagram, Youtube, etc.)

All the information must be sent in a same document in pdf format to the email:


The selected artists will be announced on Monday, October 12, 2020