Cristina de Middel: 2011 WIP–LTI/Lightside Materials Grant Recipient


In 1964, still living the dream of their recently gained independence, Zambia started a space program in hopes of catching up with the USA and the Soviet Union. Their goal was to send the first African astronaut to the moon. Only a few optimists supported the project started by a schoolteacher named Edward Makuka. The financial aid never came and the heroic initiative turned into an exotic episode in African history, surrounded by wars, violence, droughts and hunger. As a self-proclaimed photojournalist, Middel is attracted to the eccentric lines of story telling, often avoiding clichés and overworked ideas. Her practice respects photographic ‘truth’ without allowing it to limit her approach, which is to push viewers to analyze patterns in stories we consume and real. 

Cristina de Middel (Spain, 1975) is a freelance photographer based in London. She works for newspapers and for NGO´s such as Doctors Without Borders and the Spanish Red Cross. Recent awards include the Spanish National Photojournalism Award Juan Cancelo, and a special mention at the New Fnac Photographic Talent Competition.  

She combines her documentary assignments with more personal projects. In her “B-side” work, Cristina deliberately asks the audience to question the language and the veracity of photography as a document by playing with reconstructions that blur the border between reality and fiction. See more here.