LAWRENCE — When the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the world premiere of a live performance of “Astronautica: Voices of Women in Space” in May 2020, the artists and producers decided to develop a video version of their vocal performance, including images and scenes from the perspective of outer space. This week, the University of Kansas will host a virtual screening of the recording, followed by a discussion.
“Astronautica: Voices of Women in Space” features 11 original songs that lyrically describe the experiences of women in space, from the first flight taken by a woman to an interview with the first Indian woman in space, Kalpana Chawla, who later died in the 2003 Columbia disaster, to an adapted conversation with Dr. Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to travel to space, to considerations of the effects of climate change on planet Earth. The music was written by Kamala Sankaram, Bora Yoon, Jennifer Jolley, Renée Favand-See, RaShonda Reeves, Elaine Lachica, Jane Sheldon and Gilda Lyons.
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and The Commons will host a screening at 7 p.m. April 20, followed by a discussion with the performers and with KU scholars from related fields. Allison Kirkpatrick, assistant professor of physics & astronomy; Meg Jamieson, assistant professor of film & media studies, and Anika Goel, an undergraduate student in physics & astronomy and visual art, will join members of Trio Triumphatrix for a discussion. Topics explored will include the experiences of women astronauts, NASA, and the ways in which science and art can be brought together to create new ways of knowing.
The screening and discussion are made possible by a gift from a KU alumna. Registration is open for the event.