Born in Mexico City, Laura Anderson Barbata lives and works in Brooklyn and Mexico City, where she is Associate Professor at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado "La Esmeralda" of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes.
A member of Mexico's prestigious National System of Artists, Barbata creates public art performances that speak to special issues through blending art, dance, music, and design. The roots of her work come from stilt dancing traditions in the Caribbean, Mexico, West Africa, and evolving groups in Brooklyn. She has created projects with indigenous peoples in Mexico and South America.
Barbata’s best known project, Transcommunality, was first conceived in 2002 in collaboration with the Dragon Keylemanjahro School of Arts and Culture in Trinidad. With the goal of providing free extracurricular activities to impoverished youth in Port of Spain, Trinidad, it focused on the revival of the art of traditional West African stilt walking. Through artistic interventions during special events, carnival competitions, workshops and outreach programs, the group reinforced social ideals, such as healthy life choices and respect for cultural heritage. Since Barbata’s involvement, designing and building costumes for the school’s carnival performance, the group has consistently won awards and gained greater recognition. The group has been the subject of two documentaries in Europe.