We Are Going To Mars – a choreographic concert

We Are Going To Mars – a choreographic concert


about the piece

The choreographic concert We Are Going To Mars follows the two video works of the same name by the company Christoph Winkler, which celebrated their online premiere in November 2021: In a mixture of video, dance and music, the participating artists examined the history of the first African space programme in Zambia and its reception over the past 50 years. They also build a bridge to the work of the Afro-American musician Sun Ra, who developed his credo “Space is the place” at the same time.

For the first time, the Christoph Winkler Company is now performing the complete soundtrack created especially for the project, in which the band Mourning [A] BLKstar takes up some aspects of the story. A sonic associative space is created in which the dancers now introduce their own movements. From these dance miniatures and in connection with the songs of the band, a free collage develops about the longing of the “Afronauts” for Mars and what it can stand for.

In 1960, Edward Mukuka Nkoloso founded the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space Research and Philosophy. The goal: an African space programme of its own to join the “Space Race” between the USA and the Soviet Union. On a remote farm, he trained with his “Afronauts” on homemade equipment. Together they built a rocket, the D-Kalu 1, and planned to launch it into space on 24 October 1964. The rocket was to be piloted by 17-year-old Matha Mwambwa, the only woman in the team. The attempt to develop an African space programme was taken anything but seriously by the international press – until a video of the training surfaced ten years ago and triggered a change in perspective. To this day, it is not certain whether the project was a serious scientific endeavour or a satirical commentary on the megalomania and absurdity of an imperialist showdown – or even a training camp for independence fighters. Either way, the term Afronauts today stands for a new self-confidence of black people that is visible in the videos from the 1960s.




Concept: Christoph Winkler | By and with: Lois Alexander, Symara Johnson, Dava Huesca, Michael Gagawala Kaddu, Oluwafemi Israel Adebajo, Ridwan Rasheed | Music: Mourning [A] BLKstar - Vocals: James Longs, Latoya Kent, Kyle Kidd - Drums: Elijah Vazquez - Trumpet: Theresa May - Trombone: William Washington - Guitar und Keys: Pete Saudek - Samplers und Bass: RA Washington | Costumes: Marie Akoury  | Video Contents: Martin Böttger, Vadim Epstein | Video editing: Gabriella Fiore | Technical management: Fabian Eichner | Sound: Björn Stegmann | Production management: Laura Biagioni

A production by Company Christoph Winkler in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE.
Funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Media partner: taz, die tageszeitung.