African artists’ evocative creation to adorn launcher taking weather satellite into space
Space-bound artwork makes German debut.
04 May 2022
03 May 2022
Yes, you read that right.
A unique piece of contemporary African art, which will decorate the rocket launching a weather satellite into space later this year, was unveiled in Darmstadt today.
Why Darmstadt? Why African art? And why is it going to space?
“This is a great story with its genesis in international cooperation,” EUMETSAT Director-General Phil Evans said from the organisation’s headquarters in Darmstadt today.
“Our meteorological satellites in geostationary orbit, 36,000km above the Earth, have a continuous view of Europe and Africa,” Evans said. “For many years, EUMETSAT has provided the data from these satellites to weather and climate experts in Africa.
“In November, we will launch the first of the next generation of these satellites, Meteosat Third Generation.
“Meteosat Third Generation will provide a very significant advancement in terms of the weather and climate data it sends back to Earth. What better way to celebrate what this means for Africa and Europe than to visually represent this cooperation with art from Africa on a European rocket carrying a European satellite that will bring benefits to us all?”
The African Space Art Project was set up by EUMETSAT and Arianespace, which will transfer a replica of the artwork on to its launcher, and the French non-governmental organisation African Artists for Development.
After a careful selection process, three artists – Geraldine Tobe and Michel Ekeba from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Jean David Nkot from Cameroon – were asked to create the art piece together.
“It is also fitting that three artists collaborated to produce this amazing artwork for a project that is all about working together on global challenges,” Evans said.