EARTH / SATELLITE STATION / MAZOWE
In this project, I am thinking with two stamps: one depicting the Intelsat V Satellite and another of the Earth Satellite Station built in Mazowe, Zimbabwe in 1985 and opened by former President Robert Mugabe. I aim to explore how Satellite and Station figured in the imaginary of the newly independent nation – particularly through the stamps – contributing to a political economy of the imagery of independence. I am unclear exactly what form this work will take but I am imagining a visual account through a short film that reads the history of the stamps, their materiality, production and dissemination alongside the construction of the satellite and station, together with political events of the time. There are multiple strands of communication at play: in the visual imagery of the stamps, through the collectors artefact of the 'first day cover', the establishment of local facilities for satellite telecommunications in the country and finally, the way this was spoken about in the Zimbabwean press at the time. I find resonance in the theme of this work with the broader project in the way these means of communications serve to quite literally 'disembody' dialogue and speech (and the worlds they construct) allowing them to be transmitted across distance and time.
Thandi Loewenson (b.1989, Harare) is an architectural designer/researcher who operates through design, fiction and performance to interrogate our perceived and lived realms and to speculate on the possible worlds in our midst. Mobilising the ‘weird’ and the ‘tender’, she engages in projects which provoke questioning of the status-quo, whilst working with communities, policy makers, artists and architects towards acting on those provocations. Thandi is a tutor at the Royal College of Art, London, a Visiting Professor at the Aarhus School of Architecture, contributor to the Regional Network on Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa, co-curator of Race, Space & Architecture and a co-foundress of the architectural collective BREAK//LINE.