15/06/2017 - 15/07/2017
This month The Unstitute is delighted to present the excellent documentary by Elisabeth Blanchet and Agnès Villette about Liberland - a political 'no man's land' between the two Balkan countries of Serbia and Croatia, currently under appropriation and colonisation by the contentious micro-state called 'Liberland', where international settlers, corporate interests and many others stake their claims in this new 'free' country.
"Thank you for helping us define the borders of Liberland" shouts the man to the border patrol boat approaching the shore. Vit Jedlicka is the president of one the newest nation on earth, but he is still unable to access his territory, on the Croatian side of the Danube. Since the proclamation of Liberland on the 13th of April 2015, 460 000 requests for citizenship have been recorded on Liberland's website. Liberland, which motto is "To live and let live" is based on Libertarian principles and is attracting a lot of interest and money...
"During the summer of 2015, we spent a lot of time on the Serbian/Croatian border, by the Danube, to film, photograph and write about the creation of Liberland, the latest micro-nation on earth, which had just being claimed by a Czech politician named Vit Jedlicka. During the summer, supported by a team of Libertarian Danish activists -LSA-, Liberland took another more dynamic dimension, while several missions were launched from the Serbian Danube side to the territory in order to set foot on the land and settle on it. All attempts were met by arrests, abuse and opposition by the Croatian border patrols. Most of the cases are still fought in Croatian courts, as the reasoning behind the prosecution of Liberlanders for illegal border crossing, were unfounded; the territory, as some other pockets of land along the river, is a terra nullius. It means it is unclaimed land. At the end of the warin 1991, Serbs and Croates never sorted some pockets of land on both sides of the Danube which is now their border, and also, more importantly the border of EU."
Elisabeth Blanchet is a photographer, film maker and mixed media artist based in London and Marseille. She is interested in life, people and in documenting communities. Through her different projects - such as Romania, 20 years on, Prefabs, Gypsies and Travellers, she explores emotions, relationships, attachment, memory and nostalgia. She sees her camera as a passport to meet people and discover their homes, their territories, the way they live and a tool to tell human stories. She has regular publications in the press, is the author of the book Prefab Homes, had solo shows like Palaces For The People at Photofusion, London, and is the founder of The Prefab Museum. Website
Agnès Villette is a French journalist and photographer, based in London. She has been a contributor to Citizen K magazine for the past 16 years, she is also freelancing for various French and British magazines, such as Le Monde, Wedemain, Fisheye. She has published and exhibited several photo projects and is currently studying for a Master in Photography and developing projects on dark ecology. Website
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