AFRONAUTS

Photograph by Cristina de Middel

Photograph by Cristina de Middel

Photograph by Cristina de Middel

A film by Frances Bodomo
12 min | B&W | High Definition | NTSC |16:9
USA, 2013
Status:  In pre-production

Afronauts is a pre-thesis film by talented filmmaker Frances Bodomo.

It tells an alternative history of the 1960s Space Race; it’s July 16th 1969 the night of the moon landing. As America prepares to send Apollo 11 to the moon, a rag-tag group of exiles in the Zambian desert are trying to beat America to the same destination. There’s only one problem: their spacegirl, Matha, is five months pregnant. Afronauts follows characters that have not been able to find a home on earth and are therefore attracted to the promise of the space race.

Courtesy of Afronauts

Photograph by Cristina de Middel

Photograph by Cristina de Middel

Courtesy of Afronauts

Courtesy of Afronauts

This project is based on a true story. In 1964, immediately following Zambia’s independence, the dreams of space travel led science school teacher Edward Makuka Nkoloso to found a National Space Academy of Science, Space Research, and Astronomical Research in an old farmhouse outside of Lusaka. Nkoloso was so serious about the mission, he applied for a £7,000,000 grant from U.N.E.S.C.O. which never came through.

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Guillaume Bonn, ‘Silent Lives’

Kavina (left) is a fifty-year-old grandmother who works as a maid. She came to Kenya as a refugee from Uganda; her entire family was killed during the Idi Amin regime. Florence, also a maid, is forty-seven years old and comes from Kakamega. She is planning to get married in church so that her daughter may be allowed to have a religious marriage. Her husband works in a hotel in Nairobi.

The maids prepare a room for a guest coming to spend the weekend.

A nanny by the pool of the Muthaiga Club, situated in a residential area of Nairobi, while her young charge relaxes on a sun bed.

Guillame Boon has produced a remarkable series of photos about the lives of domestic workers titled Silent Lives for which he was nominated for the Piclet Prize in 2012.

Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker writes, ” Kenya, in other words, is no longer the place of Karen Blixen’s nostalgically remembered, illusory Eden, where everyone except the whites knew their place….and yet, as Bonn reveals, some of the old social heriarchies persist in some of the country’s most privileged households”.

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