Meet the astronaut artists

Ytasha Cohen

Poetry, Orca Captain

“My goal is to build inclusive societies.”

Captain Ytasha Cohen holds a PhD in Social and Gender Studies with a background in activism and writing. Cohen led the “4ALL” international program for 5 years. This program focused on securing funding for grassroots organisations supporting LGBTQIA+ youth housing in over 40 countries. Ytasha Cohen is an activist, author, playwright and poet. “My writing is quite often a critique of society and focuses on integration, power relations, fighting against racism, sexism, and homophobia.”

Ytasha will lead the weekly team discussion on the spaceship. These meet-ups are the starting point to talk about future scenarios of humans in space.

Ellie Vanyo

movement, technical operator

“Going to Mars is the next natural step for me.”

Technical Operator Ellie Vanyo studied dance at Vaganova Academy where she was disciplined to become a ballet dancer. She then also went into other dance categories very soon and broke the world record for youngest competitor to win the most European national freestyle dance competitions in 2001.

When Vanyo began teaching dance, she started with her military training at the same time. She quickly rose to a leadership position.

“I believe artists are important for society. We have the creativity to reinvent everything constantly. We are coming up with new ways to do things. To achieve anything with creativity, I am certain: one must be disciplined with their time, energy and focus. Discipline – for creativity and success – is everything.”

Ellie and the team are looking forward to human body movement studies in a microgravity environment

Lumi Adrien

fine arts, flight commander

“Society is on its way to have more non normative offerings.”

Flight Commander Lumi Adrien is an esteemed visual artist, specialising in highly emotional pieces that speak around the topics of spirituality and gender. “My art either comes from a distant memory or the unique present moment. Moving to a new planet will change everything. Seeing Earth from space…. There are no words. This will definitely change my perception – and my practice.”

Lumi believes in the power of non normative offerings. “Allowing communities having access to possibilities of how a life can be lived will lead to more individuals finding and embracing their own truths. And when they do… that they will find a deeper place of belonging.”

On board the Orca ship, Lumi will create a “model of the inner Universe”. This art piece which will be on display on the walls of future Olympus space ships.

Rykka Rieder

music, systems operator

“Artists can heal themselves and others with their work”

Systems Operator Rykka Rieder attended college for Contemporary Voice and holds a Master in Interaction Design. Rieder spent most of their adult life on tour as an artist musician in support of 6 studio albums and represented Switzerland in Eurovision 2016.

“I believe that tapping into the creative realm is nature living through us. When I write songs, I try to write from that inner honest place. I hope that my music touches people on a deeply personal level. They have a moment with themselves, and that they are able to take something from that space, to move forward and grow.”

Rykka believes in the development of music, performance, nature, and technology. In a way that compliments and enriches humankind.

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