Because You Want to Know More About “The Afronauts”
NEW YORK — The short-lived Zambian space program is now reborn thanks to a Spanish artist.
Cristina De Middel’s new photography exhibition, called “The Afronauts,” explores the space program started in 1964 by a schoolteacher who dreamt of sending Zambians to space at the height of the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States. The exhibit, now on display at the Dillon Gallery in New York City, mixes found artifacts from the time and De Middel’s photos inspired by the short-lived space program.
“The beautiful part of it and the part of the story that I really focus on is not what they actually did, because their training was very rudimentary,” De Middel told SPACE.com. “I don’t know, but I don’t think they were really, really serious about going. Everything happened in 1964, that is when Zambia gained independence, and they wanted to show the rest of the world that they were a big country, as big as the ones that were doing the space race at the time.