As Nuotama Frances Bodomo’s short film Afronauts debuts online, the director discusses de-centering hero narratives and the weaponizing of reality against African stories.
In the 1960s, while the United States and the Soviet Union were playing out their battle of who would make it to the moon first and so dominate the galactic skies, a former high school teacher in Zambia decided his country needed a space program.
While the world is looking in another direction art flourishes in the African country of Zambia on a shoestring. The desire of Zambian artists to create is so strong that they will use anything. From burlap sacks to car paint, even old bed sheets are often used in the place of canvases as the materials for art. Garbage and detritus are turned in works of art that are often staggering in their scope. The tradition of fine art, in the Western concept of the term, in Zambia goes back to colonial times and has been steadily growing ever since.