GOLDSMITHS  //  BA Design
2020





Is This Earth. Is This Mars. This is an Emergency

Martina Zheng
Space
Immigration Colonisation


More and more we hear about a possible human settlement, not only from the space agencies administrated by a government, but also from private aerospace companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin that are investing their capital into manufacturing infrastructures that would make space travel open to anyone. The recent crewed space launch is the first to be operated by a commercial company and marks a new era opening new scenarios on space rights, economics and tourism.

The colonisation of Mars is becoming reality and so it is becoming a property of capitalism with yet to come consequences that are well known to us: resource exploitation, economic instability, repression, climate change, land degradation.

By the means of fiction I created a world where Earth is the present and Mars is the future. While we are actually facing a climate crisis on Earth, the red planet is seen as a solution that could save the human species from extinction. If that is the case, we are all going to be refugees at some point in time.

Is This Earth. Is This Mars. This is an Emergency is a speculative design project that attempts to raise awareness on the current refugee crisis through the lens of Mars colonisation.

The outcome is a spacesuit made out of the objects that are given to refugees today here on Earth: life jackets, tents, emergency blanket, water.

The project is also in response to the current affairs regarding anti-immigration policies. With Brexit, Trump, and the rise of the far-right populism around the world — with their politics they managed to compel people into seeing immigrants as antagonists, making them an enemy by disseminating hate and fake news. Currently these refugees are suffering the consequences of these policies of which the public is also complicit when electing their leader. This speculative projects aims to put the viewer as protagonist of this fictional narrative and ask themselves: what if this was me?

I intend to invite the public to rethink about this refugee crisis and in the hope they become more empathetic towards this issue. The creation of this fictional future world is intended to question the real world we live in: the world that is Here, Now, in the Present.