Cristina de Middel presents fictional scenes through a reality-based lens in her photographs. Disenchanted with photojournalism and the media’s shaping of public opinions, de Middel emphasizes holistic storytelling in her art, which is rooted in systems of beliefs, rituals, and religions. She is best known for “The Afronauts,” a self-published series about the short-lived Zambian space program. The series follows a fictionalized representation of true events, juxtaposing space age themes against a folk art aesthetic with the intent of criticizing the Western media’s stigmatization of Africa. De Middel’s goal is to spark debate about representations of the truth through these staged images. Most recently, de Middel has used photography to explore community militarization in Brazilian favelas, slums in Lagos, and Nigerian spam emails.