“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind”. Neil Armstrong.
It was on the 20th of July 1969, that the Apollo II space mission took man to the moon for the first time. Specifically, it was the Americans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin who accomplished the race into space, after President John F. Kennedy had set the United States on a course for the moon, with the following words: “ I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth”.
1969 was also the year in which there was a nationwide wave of protests that shifted from a cultural revolt to workers’ protests. Feminism was born and protests became ever more strident and absolutist.
Those were the years of ‘everything is possible’: of free sex, of Woodstock; of emancipation; of subversion and idealised reconstruction; of the dismantling of a situation that was over-restrictive in the hope of a better world for everyone.
The term Utopia defined the characteristics of the era and became the means of identifying it, until it degenerated into extremism and violence, and the consequent failure to achieve a part of what had been hoped would be achieved.
What is certain is that for those who had hoped for peaceful progress to the sound of music, the suppression of continuing wars, binomials that would join together words like peace and love, and the invasion of flowers on clothing, woven into hair, and in the earth, and even put “inside your guns”, the dream must have been beautiful.
It may be that we are the children of those who believed that everything was possible and it may also be that ours is a historic, political moment moved by powerful manipulation and fanaticism. From electoral campaigns, where the winner is whoever instils the greatest fear of the world and humanity. Where anything different is still viewed with suspicion. Where, sometimes, conquests achieved over the course of time, take two steps forward and one step back. It will be the same…. and many other things. But if, as it is believed, the dream is linked to the child, then, at different points in the day and in our existence, we should return to being that child.
Looking at beautiful things, allowing our imagination to take flight, building our dreams, which, if we start to map them out like sketches of the imagination, will, little by little, become ever more real and solid.
There is a need for hope. To continue to do it and recount it to others. To more people. Until everyone is reached.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin collected 21.5 kilograms of lunar surface material which they brought back to Earth. 21.5 kilograms of attempts that became reality. Try it to believe it.
“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail.” Oscar Wilde The supporting material that appears in this piece are true testimonies of the moon landing.
Text by Silvia Pisanu
Photographer: Max Martin
Stylist: Fabiola Di Virgilio
Stylist assistant: Chiara Manzoni and Martina Finazzi
Model: Marie Jorgesen @Monster / Paige Stevens @Img
Make up: Giulia Cigarini @Close up
Hair: Giuseppe Lorusso @Close up