Edition 2013

Cristina de Middel


In 1964, still living the dream of their recently gained independence, Zambia started a space program that would put the first African on the moon, catching up the USA and the Soviet Union in the space race. Only a few optimists supported the project of Edward Makuka, the school teacher in charge of presenting the ambitious program and getting the necessary funding. But the financial aid never came, the United Nations withdrew their support, and one of the astronauts, a 16 year old girl, got pregnant and had to quit. That is how the heroic initiative turned into an exotic episode of African history, surrounded by wars, violence, droughts and hunger. As a photojournalist I have always been attracted by eccentric stories—avoiding the same old subjects told in the same old ways. Now, with my personal projects, I respect the basis of the truth but allow myself to break the rules of veracity, trying to push the audience into analysing the patterns of the stories we consume as real. The Afronauts is based on the documentation of an impossible dream that only lives in the pictures. I start from a real fact that took place 50 years ago and rebuild the documents, adapting them to my personal imagery.

Cristina De Middel

Exhibition venue: Cloître Saint-Trophime.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture