Sollicitatie voor Het Veem

HOME-MADE NATIONS
Home-Made Nations is a documentary about self-proclaimed countries - also known as micronations - produced by LOULOU PRODUCTIONS. Insight into the phenomenon is provided through portrays of the Užupis Republic, Royal Republic Ladonia, and the Kingdom of Hay, showing both its humorous and its profound features. 
 
Micronations strongly relate to the current era of globalisation, as they are an example of how the whole world is within our reach and beyond our control at the same time. The humour involved does not necessarily preclude serious intentions, because many micronations express their refusal to be part of traditional societal systems by claiming to offer (inspiration for) alternatives.
 
Lonely Planet
The creation of Home-Made Nations was inspired by a small Lonely Planet travel guide titled: Micronations. The Lonely Planet guide to home-made nations. Funny about this book is that it is designed just like all Lonely Planet guides, making it seem like the dozens of small self-invented states described within it, are actual countries with actual possibilities of visiting. Further investigation confirmed that this is not always exactly the case. The question: when is a country accepted to be real? arose, characterized by a performative friction between fiction and reality.
SCREENSHOTS
  1. Užupis Republic - angel trumpeter (a national symbol)
  2. Užupis Republic - entry sign
  3. Ladonia - Minister of Art and Jump embodying the national anthem.
  4. Kingdom of Hay - bookshop of Prince Derek Addyman
  5. Kingdom of Hay
  6. Užupis Republic - entry
  7. Užupis Republic - river Vilnelė (border of the republic)
  8. Užupis Republic
  9. Užupis Republic - constitution wall
  10. Ladonia (almost there)
  11. Ladonia - Nimis
  12. Ladonia - Wotan's tower
  13. NAME OF PRODUCT
  14. Kingdom of Hay - biography of Richard Booth (King of Hay)
  15. Kingdom of Hay -
  16. Kingdom of Hay - King Richard Booth
MICRONATIONAL ICONOGRAPHY
An enjoyable feature of micronations is national iconagraphy. ​​The three exposed cases, all dedicated a respectable amount of their activity to the creation of identity by producing their own national objects. An explanation for this is articulated within the documentary by Lars Vilks (Secretary of State in Ladonia):        
  1. NAME OF PRODUCT
  2. NAME OF PRODUCT
  3. NAME OF PRODUCT
  4. NAME OF PRODUCT
  5. NAME OF PRODUCT
  6. NAME OF PRODUCT
  7. NAME OF PRODUCT
  8. NAME OF PRODUCT
''When you have a micronations the problem is that you have to make it in a way real. If you just say, ​we are a nation, how can it be recognised? It can, because you have a flag, and a national anthem, a currency, stamps, a queen. And with that you can convince people, because if you have all these things, one can recognise that it must be a nation. There is some minimum of things you must have. If you don’t have them, then the point is, why call it a nation?'' 
This perfectly explains the importance of having at least a certain minimum of national icons. Most micronations select a couple of basic elements like a currency, stamps, a national anthem, passports, a flag, a capital, a national day and a constitution. National iconography serves as national branding by immediate recognition for the nation, which is undeniably connected to the tourist and heritage industry. Parts of a nations history or cultural practices are expressed through these symbols. 
   In relation to the act of repetition performed by micronations through self-created iconography, the symbolic interpretation of the adopted national elements, like stamps and passports, surpasses the practical functions, because the practical matters do often not (fully) apply. The Lonely Planet guide articulated the importance of issuing stamps as a means of asserting ones existence as a nation: 
''The postmasters general of many a micronation need not to worry that their stamps have to cover the cost of receiving and sorting and delivering mail. They’ve been issued solely with the tourist and the collector in mind.''
This shows that - although undoubtably some people tried, and might as well succeeded, using their micronational stamps for mail delivery and the passports for crossing borders - the most important function of this items is giving form to nationality through symbols and iconography. As national iconography symbolises the institutional status and power. 
INTERVIEWEES
  1. Royal Republic Ladonia | Lars Vilks
    Secretary of State. Founder.
    Royal Republic Ladonia |           Lars Vilks
  2. Royal Republic Ladonia | Fredrik Larsson
    Minister of Art & Jump.
    Royal Republic Ladonia |           Fredrik Larsson
  3. Kingdom of Hay | Sir Leslie Penning
    Master of the Kings Music. Composer of the national anthems.
    Kingdom of Hay | Sir Leslie Penning
  4. Kingdom of Hay | Richard Booth
    Secondhand bookseller. King of Hay.
    Kingdom of Hay | Richard Booth
  5. Kingdom of Hay | Fiona Howard
    Mayor of Hay-on-Wye.
    Kingdom of Hay | Fiona Howard
  6. Kingdom of Hay | Gerry Taylor
    Kings Counsellor.
    Kingdom of Hay | Gerry Taylor
  7. Kingdom of Hay | Derek Addyman
    Secondhand bookseller. (self-proclaimed) Prince of Hay.
    Kingdom of Hay | Derek Addyman
  8. Užupis Republic | Tomas Čepaitis
    Minister of Foreign Affairs. Autor of the constitution.
    Užupis Republic | Tomas Čepaitis
  9. Užupis Republic | Monika Jašinskaitė
    Project coordinator of Užupis Art Incubator. Ambassador of Cuckoo.
    Užupis Republic | Monika Jašinskaitė
  10. Užupis Republic | Bill Levy
    Ambassador of Amsterdam.
    Užupis Republic | Bill Levy
  11. Užupis Republic | Annika Grišakov
    Ambassador of Estonia. Translator of the constitution.
    Užupis Republic | Annika Grišakov
  12. Užupis Republic | Algimantas Lekevičius
    Užupis TV.
    Užupis Republic | Algimantas Lekevičius
MEDIA

Haarlems Dagblad. August 28 2015.

COSTOMIZED LECTURES
If you are interested in booking a lecture on micronations, please contact Loulou through: l.s.sjerps@gmail.com.

Haerlems Bodem. Julie 27 2015.

Parkpreek 2015. Photo: Jaap Kroon.

CREDITS
LOULOU PRODUCTIONS

Camera: Michel Cupido. Editing: Pieter Kamp, Nikola Vrzić. 
Music composition: Thijs Kammer. Sound design: Bart van Hasselt.