THE AFRONAUTS by Cristina de Middel [SECOND EDITION]

スペイン人フォトグラファー、クリスティーナ・デ・ミデル(Cristina de Middel)の作品集。2012年に自費出版で発表された本書初版は、その年のAperture FoundationとParis Photoが共催する写真集のアワード「PhotoBook Awards」のうち「First PhotoBook Prize」のファイナリストとなり、翌年には「Deutsche Börse Photography Prize」へのノミネート、ICP「インフィニティ賞」を受賞するなど、近年で最も話題になった写真集の一つとして有名である。本作は、1964年にザンビア人教師のエドワード・マクカが、ソビエト連邦とアメリカ合衆国による宇宙開発戦争に割って入る形で、アフリカ人初の宇宙飛行士を育成しようと始めた実際の宇宙計画を題材に、作者が現地で撮影した写真を元に制作したフィクション作品。実際の計画は、支援元だったザンビア政府と国連の資金不足や、訓練中だった若い女性飛行士の妊娠などによって早期に断念されており、戦争や紛争、飢餓などがその多くの部分を占めているアフリカの歴史の中でも知られざる歴史の一部として残っている。セカンドエディション。

Zambia 1964, the rather eccentric school teacher Edward Makuka Nkoloso single-handedly started a space program to put the first African on the moon, thereby joining the space race between the Sovjet Union and the United States. Due to a lack of funding, both by the Zambian Government and the United Nations, and because one of the astronauts, a teenage girl, became pregnant, the short-lived program came to an early end. It is a lesser known part of the African history which unfortunately mostly has been dominated by wars, violence and hunger. Half a century later Spanish photojournalist Christina de Middel used this story as the basis for her book Afronauts in which she rebuilds the story and adapts it to her personal imagery. De Middel shows us surreal pictures of a space program situated in Africa, containing elephants, colorful spacesuits and beautiful hairdresses. The result of this fictional documentation is funny, striking and even thought provoking. One might want to blame De Middel for mocking Nkoloso and ridiculing the idea of Africans on the moon. But according to De Middel "The images are beautiful and the story is pleasant at a first level, but it is built on the fact that nobody believes that Africa will ever reach the moon. It hides a very subtle critique to our position towards the whole continent and our prejudices."

by Cristina de Middel

REGULAR PRICE ¥8,200
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softcover
88 pages
170 x 230 mm
color, black and white
limited edition of 1,500 copies
2016

SECOND EDITION

shortlist of the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards 2012 - the First PhotoBook Prize
shortlist of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2013

published by AMC (ARCHIVE OF MODERN CONFLICT)