Cristina De Middel #21
The name of the exhibit is The Astronauts, based on the African country Zambia. In 1964 Zambia entered a space race to be the first African country to put a man/woman on the moon. This was just after Zambia had gained it’s independence, they were hopping to catch up to USA and the Soviet Union in the space race. There were few people who actually supported Zambia’s trek to the moon, it was a school teacher named Edward Makuka who attained the funding. Yet the funding never came through and the United Nations retracted their support, and the astronaut got pregnant. Surrounded by war, violence, hunger and natural disasters, Zambia was able to prevail. The Astronaut is based on the documentation of an impossible dream through photographs. Middel took all the documentation of the event and adapted it to her own imagery. The photographs showcase the struggle for Zambia to get to the moon using beautiful imagery and color. Each photograph shows culture and what Zambia was like in that time period and the struggle of the people. My favorite photograph in this exhibit was of an African man gazing strongly into the distance while wearing an astronaut helmet. His surroundings look dry and scary as if what lies ahead is unknown and vast. I loved how the plight of the people was shows through astounding color and each picture was accompanied by another. The story telling of the exhibit was wonderful and by far my favorite from the Arles photography festival.