Approaching Sealand. Photography by Simon Sellars. Originally published in The Australian, 10 November 2007. I THE room has no windows. It is dank, pitch-black and deathly still. I’ve lost all spatial co-ordinates. I hear a distant, dull hissing, like soil leaking through a coffin lid. Before the lights went out, I notice the ram’s skull [...]
Here’s a subject dear to my heart: micronations. I co-wrote this book with John Ryan and George Dunford, and between us we managed to drum up quite a bit of publicity for a subject that seemed to touch a chord. Here’s an interview with me about the book, over at the fantastic BLDGBLOG. For this [...]
Akhzivland is a peaceful anomaly surrounded by the state of Israel. It was formerly the historical village of Akhziv, abandoned after the 1948 War of Independence and later claimed by Eli Avivi, a charismatic ex-sailor who, with his sandals and flowing beard and robes, comes on like a cross between a fit Demis Roussos and the Groovy Guru. Like Prince Roy of Sealand, President Avivi proved the micronational adage that if you look hard enough, you’re bound to find a piece of ‘turf’ nobody wants. Roy and Avivi also suffered the inverse equation: namely, that once you’ve got your hands on some idle territory, the bully boys will always try and take it away from you, even if they have no practical use for it.
Kugelmugel is more than a micronation: it’s simultaneously a house and a work of art. But it’s also a true example of that age-old struggle: One Man against the System. Despite all attempts to squash it, Kugelmugel has endured – and throughout it all, its exiled President Edwin Lipburger stands tall as its founder, its head of state, its defence force and its sole citizen. Now 77, President Lipburger lives in Austrian exile, watching as his radical experiment in spherical housing is reappraised and hailed as a masterpiece of micronationalism (and postmodern architecture).
LEFT: King Robert the Bald. RIGHT: King Leo. Simon Sellars, ‘Kingdom of Redonda’, originally published in John Ryan, George Dunford & Simon Sellars, Micronations: the Lonely Planet Guide to Home-made Nations, Footscray: Lonely Planet Publications, 2006, p. 108. KINGDOM OF REDONDA: They can write but they can’t rule In the late 1800s, mariner and entrepreneur [...]
The Kingdom of Elleore is the oldest modern-day micronation, having been founded by a group of Danish schoolteachers (known as the ‘Immortals’) on the uninhabited island of Elleore in 1944. Later, when the Immortals delved into the history of the island, they discovered it actually had an ancient lineage, deriving back to 944 and the settlement of a depleted band of Irish monks.