We have hinted our collaboration with Kosmica Institute, a collective of artists and scientists that blew our minds off, and now you get to know the details about this!
We also got the chance to ask Nahum, one of its founders, some questions for more insights.. .
KOSMICA Institute and Hangar 1 announce their first collaboration, marking a new strand of KOSMICA programmes aimed at those who had to leave their homes to seek safety. Throughout the month of July 2017, a series of weekly workshops will be given at the refugee center at Tempelhofer Feld, in Berlin.
Together with Berlin-based artist and musician Nahum, designer Nayeli Verga and satellite scientist Athiye Jawad, the children will imagine and create their own space mission.
This series of workshop aims to get the children acquainted with outer space by exploring the different stages of a space mission. They will start their adventure by creating their own space traveller kit, allowing them to carefully select enchanting pieces of Earth that they would like to bring into space. This kit will contain reminiscences of our planet such as smells, textures and colours of a particular meaning to each of them. The journey continues with the design and launch of water rockets, leading to the imaginary landing on yet unknown planets. The third workshop will consist in designing a fictional space flag, representing humanity as a whole. Lastly, we will take them into a journey to discover the immensity of the cosmos and of the constellations of stars adorning it. It will be the occasion for them to create their own constellations and to imagine their own mythology attached to it.
Through these poetical and playful activities, the workshops will nurture a new intimate and personal connection to Earth and the universe. Our planet is the cradle that has embraced humanity and the stars our future.
Nahum is an artist and musician based in Berlin. He is the chair of the IAF Committee of the Cultural Utilisation of Space, where he was recognized for his achievements with the IAF Young Space Leader Award in 2014. Since 2015 he is a visiting lecturer at the International Space University, Technion (ISU), the year he also curated the digital arts biennial TransitioMX in Mexico City in 2015.
Nahum is the founding director of KOSMICA, an international institute of space art and culture. He is the director of the artistic space mission Matters of Gravity at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia. Nahum is a fellow of the National System of Art Creators, National Fund for Culture and Arts in Mexico and is an associate artist at the Arts Catalyst, London.
– How did you start getting acknowledged with space studies and decided to make a career out of it?
When I was a kid my father took me to the Kennedy Space Center a couple of times. I guess this experience stayed in my subconscious over the years. Years later I found myself working in London’s biggest performance and arts venue: Shunt Lounge. We were doing all sorts of experiments in our underground venue and during that time I met Nicola Triscott and Rob La Frenais who were already involved in cultural activities in outer space. I guess at that moment it made sense to me to be involved in art projects happening underground and overground. Eventually, I supported the creation of ITACCUS, a committee for the cultural uses of space at the International Astronautical Federation in Paris. This was the beginning of my introduction to the international space community in 2008, since then I haven’t stopped!
– How did you come up with the idea of creating Kosmica? Which are the goals of the organization?
KOSMICA is about all the culture, arts and humanities surrounding space activities and their impact on Earth. It started as an experiment at The Arts Catalyst in London. Eventually, our series of quirky space gatherings became an international festival. After 22 events and an international team of partners and collaborators, it was time to think bigger and to transform it into a global institute, running the festivals but also press, education, and other projects. We are interested in topics like feminism, diversity, Earth without borders and also Earth systems. At the end, outer space helps us to shape the understanding of who we are and the future that we want to build. This has to be radical, critical but also poetical and inspiring. KOSMICA is about engaging experts and society in discussing together these issues.
– About the desire to take Kosmica to the shelters and immigrants.. how did you come up with this? Which is your main motivation?
We are all immigrants. Look at our genes, they come from all around the world. Life has always been in the movement for various reasons and Earth is our home. Sometimes people are forced to keep moving because of safety and better life opportunities. At KOSMICA we have been thinking of how to be involved in urgent matters such as climate change and the refugee crisis and we will do whatever is in our hands to contribute. This is the work of not only one organisation but of everyone, so we are contributing with what we know the best: use the space perspective to look at these issues from outer space: yes, Earth is our home, and yes, it is beautiful and unique so we have to look after this cradle.
– Which would be the ultimate goal for the collaboration with H1?
If after our work at the refugee centre in Tempelhof people feel more connected to Earth despite their current location then we will have succeeded. But also this kind of collaborations are an invitation to other groups and individuals to get involved. The action is what we need, no matter where your head is, either on Earth or in space.
We can’t wait for this collaboration that kicks off on Saturday!
Check out Kosmica Institute here.