KONGO ASTRONAUTS | Postcolonial Dilemma #Track 3 (Unended), 2014-2017


Technological wizardry transports a traveler to a new world, in a parallel universe. This trip seems bizarre, yet because humans have walked the moon and landed machines on Mars, the trippy imaginings in such pop-culture icons as Star Trek and The Man Who Fell to Earth (and many others) are virtually possible. The astronaut landed in this film probes a jungle of towering trees and trailing lianas, weapon in hand, wary of attack whether by humans, animals or aliens. S/he follows a path already laid down; meaning both that there is history here, and there is a destination ahead. We experience a journey through other journeys, through what has been constructed before, even if it has fallen.

Michel Ekeba of Kongo Astronauts states, “As a Congolese citizen, I dream of other worlds and going to space, but most of the Congolese population lives without clean water and without electricity. For many, to admit this desire would be, as rapper Maitre Gims puts it, humiliating oneself. […] We are creating the conditions for an uninhabitable earth while the most sophisticated telescopes search for habitable planets. Having a stable internet connection in the DRC to learn about issues of international space policy and take a stand is a luxury, to study astronautics is a luxury, to think about what Elon Musk is undertaking with SpaceX is a luxury, but we want to discuss all these subjects, in order to contribute to the orientations of space research and perhaps to influence it… instead, at the moment, the technology is falling on our heads! For example, on August 24, 2020, one of the Google Loon balloons that provide internet to rural areas around the world fell into the Congolese jungle near Buta. Being in a state of weightlessness in a zero G flight is a superhuman feat that I would like to experience in order to be able to transmit to others a unique experience of reality; going into space would be even more amazing, even though I know that this is not just fun. Out of these impossibilities is constructed a poem between art and science.”