No Gravity

2011     1 x 62 min.     Color English, French, German & Russian; with English subtitles

A Perfect Shot and ZDF Kleines Fernsehspiel production in association with 10:15 Productions

Sylvia Casalino

Executive Producer:
Inka Dewitz

Director of Photography:
Siri Klug

Elfe Brandenburger

Since her early childhood, Silvia Casalino dreamt of becoming an astronaut. She studied space engineering and her dream started to take shape as she began to work for the French Space Agency, CNES. Working in the heart of a space rocket she was confident that she could infuse the technological world with her sub cultural interests and her queer‐ feminist mind. But little by little she realises that her environment was transforming her into the model scientist, a perfect prototype of the good, white, straight scientist pretending to be male. As she applies to the astronaut‐training program initiated by the European Space Agency, ESA, her application was rejected, even though she is a highly qualified space engineer. The rejection was a brutal wake up call and Casalino decides to undertake a research journey to learn from the icons of female space flight and cyborg culture.

Trying to understand the tool of stereotypes in society, Silvia finds her intellectual mentor in the feminist theorist Donna Haraway, who introduces her to the Cyborg Culture. Through the image and theory of the Cyborg, Silvia realizes that in order to understand why only a few women made it into space, she has to take a look at history.

Featuring interviews with women astronauts like Claudie Haigneré, the first European woman in space, the feminist theorist Donna Haraway (Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature), the Mercury 13 women and the icons of Russian space travel, Silvia Casalino investigates why women struggled to achieve equal opportunities with their male counterparts in the world of space technology.