How might we re-imagine space migration from a decolonial perspective?

Phase 1/1: Spekulationsphase completed
Humankind is going to Mars, and regardless of what we are going to find in space, we will need to face ourselves when we get there – including our relationships, “virgin” territories, and the damaged planet Earth. We invite you to think about the implications of space travel and migration, and to imagine alternative ways of space travel, while keeping in mind the lessons we learned from the problematic ways we have been dealing with life on Earth.
07.06.2022: Start of Challenge
Challenge beendet
How might we re-imagine space migration from a decolonial perspective?
How might we re-imagine space migration from a decolonial perspective?
We will focus on creating artificial climates on Earth to attempt to reverse climate change and decide to not go to space. This will lead to rethinking our relationship to others and establish decolonial patterns.
We will live in modular capsules orbiting around planets. The capsules will be able to get plugged together so anyone can attach or detach from the aggregations of capsules.
Only ultra-rich people will go to space, and reproduce colonial patterns experienced on Earth, in space.
We will establish global policies about space migration, hold global elections about planet occupations, and decide on a group of humans to go to space to ensure the survival of the human species. 
We will send androids to Mars to build settlements and once it´s done, we will upload our minds and live through the androids.
I think that private corporations will be the driving force in colonizing other planets.
I think that Mars will show us the difficulties of living on a planet different than ours. But still, on Earth, we can figure out ways to re-imagine our place in the Cosmos outside the hegemonic ones.
I think that a decolonial perspective is impossible when you are actively colonising a foreign planet.
Challenge Details

Decolonizing Mars

Space migration has a pronounced relation to both urban life and ecological crises on Earth. In various movements and countercultures, human life in space has represented a radical new horizon. From sci-fi and fantasy to the Russian bio-cosmists of the early 20th century, and Afro-futurists dramatising racialised alienation, there has been speculation about the possibility – or necessity – of humankind projecting itself into space to live on other planets.
Today, multiple disciplines are involved in planning human life in space: however, this effort involves not only scientific investigation and the development of new technologies, but also a negotiation of the assumptions and ideologies that accompany the reproduction of human civilisation, whether in space or here on Earth. We invite you to think about the imaginaries surrounding space migration, and to address the implications of space travel, in the light of our current relationship to life, the environment and others on Earth.

Artist Response

Amateur Lithopanspermia

Adriana Knouf

Adriana´s project poses necessary and yet under-considered questions about how women, people of color, the differently abled, and LGBTQ+ people are often excluded from space activities. Thus through her artistic practice and texts on ‘xenology’ – a knowledge of the strange and the alien – she introduces critical and innovative perspectives on questions of space colonization, political subjectivisation and ideologies of purity. Situated at the confluence of interdisciplinary inquiries, her project at the same time nourished by personal experience that confers to it a high degree of authenticity.

Challenge Context

Repairing the Present

Since June 2021, as part of the European Commission’s S+T+ARTS initiative, 12 new Regional S+T+ARTS Centers have been creating a space for artists, scientists, and technologists to work together on a common mission: Repairing the present. The S+T+ARTS initiative is a program funded by the European Commission aiming to bring artistic perspectives into the innovation process to address current challenges in today’s society.

Repairing the Present as part of the S+T+ARTS Residencies encourages a critique of the present, the exploration beyond its current limitations, and the re-imagination of other possible futures. To that end, the program fosters the development of methodologies and frameworks for long-term cross-disciplinary collaborations that can lead to products, tools and processes with a positive impact on society at large.

In October and November 2021, 12 Regional S+T+ARTS Centers called international artists working at the intersection between science, technology and the arts to apply for a 6-month residency. The residencies respond to local sustainability challenges that have been defined by invited Local Experts Groups during workshops that took place in July-September 2021.

The Regional S+T+ARTS Center Art Hub Copenhagen has announced Adriana Knouf as the selected artist to take part of the S+T+ARTS Residency Decolonising Mars.

During the residency, the artists engage with the Local Expert Group, the general public as well as other relevant stakeholders in a strongly collaborative process. This crowdsourcing campaign on Futures Canvas forms part of this process.

Your contribution matters and will be part of a larger endeavour: it will be integrated into the S+T+ARTS project report that will be shared and discussed with the EU Commission as well as local stakeholders. This is an opportunity to think along with artists and local experts involved in the challenge.

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Challenge Hosts

This challenge is part of the project Repairing the Present. Repairing The Present is co-funded by the S+T+ARTS initiative of the European Union.


The S+T+ARTS initiative is a program funded by the European Commission aiming to bring artistic perspectives into the innovation process to address current challenges in today’s society.

S+T+ARTS Residencies

Since its launch five years ago, the S+T+ARTS initiative has hosted over 125 residencies across its different projects. Repairing the Present is adding 21 thematic residencies to the portfolio. Each of the residencies points to an EU Green Deal or a New European Bauhaus goal and reflects pan-European or global issues that require solutions tailored to specific regions.

Art Hub Copenhagen

Art Hub Copenhagen is an international art institution and meeting place in Copenhagen aimed at supporting and promoting young, professional visual artists, broadening and qualifying public debates on artistic practice and strengthening the voice of artists in society.
Art Hub aims to boost existing dialogues on contemporary art nationally and internationally, something we do by bringing artists, curators, writers, researchers, companies, cultural institutions and the general public together in a new community.

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