Thursday, December 21, 2017

Space Is White


opendemocracy |  Fundamental to this process is the recognition that space is a potential destination for everyone. Contemporary Afro-futurist Denenge Akpem has attempted to spark this discussion through, “The MARS Project – Teaching Afro-futurism as Methodology of Liberation.” Akpem, a performance artist and sculptor who has taught at both the School of the Art Institute Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, invites her students to imagine the first mission to, and settlement of Mars through the lens of Afro-futurism and diversity.

In contrast, Mars One, a private Dutch initiative to settle Mars by 2026, has raised eyebrows for seeming to select its astronauts using a format akin to reality TV. And while National Geographic’s upcoming docu-drama miniseries MARS features an internationally, racially and gender diverse crew in 2033 aboard the Daedalus, it’s noticeable that they are led by an all-American white male mission commander who will “be the first to walk on Mars”.

In addition, if we are to colonize Mars or any other planet or space station for that matter, then genetics and population dynamics call for the largest and broadest sample of who we are to be included among the settlers. As Sun Ra highlights, the worlds of art, music, philosophy, science and literature are created by all of us. In space as on Earth, there is a deep value to embracing and maintaining the plurality of our existence: it celebrates our empathy and love for one another.
As Ra presaged, Space Is The Place for us to take this love—the best of Earth’s legacy—to Mars and beyond.