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Some Worlds Have Two Suns - signed pre-order copy

Some Worlds Have Two Suns - signed pre-order copy

by Andrew McConnell

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Pre-order. Expected October 2024.

Please note, all copies pre-ordered before 1 July will be signed. 

Every three months a space rocket carrying three astronauts and cosmonauts to the International Space Station launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. At around the same time, to the north-east in remote grasslands, three other astronauts fall back to earth. The photographs in Some Worlds Have Two Suns document these comings and goings of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft and the local community whose lives are accidentally intertwined with this portal to space.

More about this book

‘I became interested in theSoyuz landing after seeing the event in a documentary in 2014. It was deepwinter and the spacecraft descended under parachute into an ice world. A groundteam battled the harsh conditions to open the capsule and when eventually threehumans emerged my heart skipped a beat…I had just returned from covering a warand had witnessed the very worst of humanity, yet here were humans workingtogether and achieving the seemingly impossible. In my jaded state it wasprofoundly moving and I resolved to go and see it for myself.’ 

During McConnell’s firstvisit in 2015, as the astronauts and cosmonauts were taking part in the landingceremony, he saw a group of locals from the village of Kenjebai-Samai who hadcome to witness the strange event taking place in their own back yard. Althoughhe had initially been drawn to record the space travellers, it was the localcommunity residing in the isolated grasslands who compelled him to return. 

‘On each visit I would stayin Kenjebai-Samai orexplore further afield. The steppe, which at first appeared as a boundlessvoid, would over time reveal unexpected details. I found a people largelyuninterested in the space travellers and yet somehow bound up in this strangeritual. These descendants of nomads once again on the edge of a new horizon.’ 

The Soyuz spacecraft hasbeen in operation since the late 1960s and due to its length of service isconsidered the safest and most cost-effective space vehicle. The capsule of thespacecraft, which are not reusable, measure just 2,2 metres long and 2.1 metreswide. They can carry up to three people, take just six hours to reach the spacestation and the descent module, just three and a half hours to return. For aperiod after the retirement of NASA’s spaceshuttle in 2011 the Russian Soyuz rocket launches in Kazakhstan werethe sole working portal to the International Space Station. The word ‘soyuz’means ‘union’ in Russian.

Published October 2024
292 x 355 mm
104pp, 51 colour images
Hardback
ISBN 978-1-915423-52-8

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  • Andrew McConnell began his career working for a daily newspaper in Belfast during the during the closing stages of the Troubles and the transition to peace. After working as a photojournalist for over a decade his work today focuses on long-form projects that explore socio-political issues, displacement, and the environment. He works in both photography and film, most recently shooting and co-directing the documentary GAZA (2019) which premiered at the Sundance film festival and was subsequently selected as Ireland's entry to the Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category at the 2020 Academy Awards. His photography regularly features in international publications including National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Time, New York Times, Der Spiegel, Stern, Le Monde, and Sunday Times Magazine amongst others. He has received many international awards, including two first place prizes at the World Press Photo Awards, first place at the Pictures of the Year International and two Sony World Photography Awards. 'Some Worlds Have Two Suns' is his first monograph.

  • ‘On each visit I would stay in Kenjebai-Samai or explore further afield. The steppe, which at first appeared as a boundless void, would over time reveal unexpected details. I found a people largely uninterested in the space travellers and yet somehow bound up in this strange ritual. These descendants of nomads once again on the edge of a new horizon.'

    - Andrew McConnell