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De Middel, Cristina. THE AFRONAUTS: THE EDITIONS BESSARD LIMITED EDITION. Paris, France: Editions Bessard, 2014. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 38 pages. Fine.

New Rendition/Edition of the artist/photographer's classic. Limited Edition of 300 numbered copies. Published as Volume 12 of Editions Bessard's "Zine Collection" Photography Book Series. Comes with an original color print (whereas the 2012 First Edition does NOT). The Limited Edition is now rare. A brilliant production by Cristina De Middel: Regular-sized volume format. Pictorial softcovers with overlay, as issued. Photographs by Cristina De Middel. 5.5 X 6 inch original color print tipped-in. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in France to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Re-presents Cristina De Middel's "The Afronauts". After all is said and done, her breakthrough and her masterpiece. "Zambia 1964: The eccentric schoolteacher Edward Makuka Nkoloso single-handedly started a space program to put the first African on the moon, thereby joining the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States. Due to a lack of funding, from both the Zambian Government and the UN, and because one of the astronauts, a teenage girl, got pregnant, the program came to an early end. It is a lesser-known part of an African history that has been dominated by wars, violence, and hunger". The abortive Zambia Astronaut Project becomes the basis for Cristina De Middel's evocatively beautiful images fifty years later. "The images are beautiful and the story is pleasant at a first level. But it is built on the fact that nobody believes that Africa will ever reach the moon. It hides a very subtle critique to our position towards the whole continent and our prejudices" (Cristina De Middel). Why, indeed, can't Africans dream of going to the moon? Why should we identify Africa with under-development and barbarism? Among Cristina De Middel's re-imaginations of utopian dreams, "The Afronauts" (2012) is her most beautiful realization. Cristina De Middel celebrates the greatest ideas and ideals, however imperfect (and at times, contradictory), that people everywhere believe in, live by, and if necessary, are also willing to die for: Nationalism (nation/states that people now identify with as the very essence of their being, whether they be American, Jewish, or Zambian), the United Nations (the most abstract and unrealizable of ideals), and socially conscious, humane societies. Hers is a hopeful vision rather than a nihilistic or skeptical one, and as such, is very rare indeed among contemporary artists. An absolute "must-have" title for Cristina De Middel collectors. This copy is one of the Limited Edition of 300 copies, indicated/numbered as such on the Front Limitation Page. It comes with a beautiful 5.5 X 6 inch original color print, tipped into the Front Limitation Page, that is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on verso by Cristina De Middel. Because the signed print is tipped-in on the very first page (rather than laid-in its own sleeve), De Middel did not need to sign the book itself. This title is a contemporary photography classic. This is one of few copies of the Limited Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies of the 2012 First Edition available online command as much as $4000, perhaps rightly so. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. 30 color plates, 1 original color print. Cristina De Middel's "The Afronauts" is widely regarded as one of the greatest photography books of our time. One of the most brilliant artist/photographers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER CRISTINA DE MIDDEL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 8460877310. $400.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 22, 2019.