You can get an Antarctic passport Are you a global citizen? Then you might need one of these. (Studio Orta)
You can get an Antarctic passport
Lexile

Are you a citizen of Antarctica? The answer has to be “no.” Antarctica’s not a country. It’s a continent that will never be a nation. But no biggie, Lucy and Jorge Orta. They are artists. They’re giving out passports to Antarctica. That's according to Allison Meier reporting for Hyperallergic.

So far, 53 countries are privy to the Antarctic Treaty. In 1959, it specified that the southernmost continent “shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.” But the Ortas don’t see that as a barrier to issuing passports. The passports are for the chilly, barren continent. Their art is inspired by and centered around the peaceful possibilities of the continent. Antarctica is devoted to scientific research and human accord.

Meier writes that the Ortas have developed a program called the Antarctica World Passport. It is intended to be “an advocacy tool to engage people around the world in the importance of a remote place most of us will never visit.” 

People who commit to certain beliefs. These include sustainability, peace and equality. People who follow these can request a virtual passport online. Or they visit the couple’s “Antarctic World Passport Delivery Bureau” at their exhibitions. 

The couple was commissioned to create the passport program and their arts and awareness exhibition. It is dedicated to the continent. This happened at the 2007 End of the World Biennial. It is an art event that brought artists from all over the world. They celebrated Earth’s southernmost climes. 

Later that year, the Ortas traveled to Antarctica to raise their “Antarctic Flag.” It is a kaleidoscopic flag. It combines the flags of all nations and represents the coexistence of all world identities. Their trip to Antarctica also included the construction of 50 handmade dwellings. They were stitched from national flags, clothing and other objects. They symbolized Antarctica’s borderless possibilities.

The artists’ website calls their passport a “universal passport for a continent without borders, common good of humanity.” An official passport to Antarctica is still impossible, but this passport seems like a good alternative. So far, more than 12,000 people have received their own. 

What if the passport were hypothetically real? Would it revoke an owner’s United States citizenship? Perhaps. People sometimes apply for foreign nationalities with the intention of giving up their U.S. nationality. Then they lose their rights as nationals. But for now, there’s nothing keeping anyone from claiming their rights and responsibilities as an Antarctic citizen. And they can claim their rights as citizens of the broader world. 

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do you think people might want an Antarctic passport?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (22)
  • AngelicaL-ilc
    8/31/2018 - 07:37 p.m.

    Creation of conscience is a good initiative in the face of the relative disappearance of Antarctic and it must come from all over the world. I do not think it is necessary to have a symbolic passport to raise awareness of a problem. At this moment what Antarctic does not need is to be filled with tourists who destroy this ecosystem.

  • TatyM-ilc
    9/02/2018 - 01:52 a.m.

    People might want an Antarctic passport as a way to raise awareness about the importance of preserving this protected area and its ecosystem. However, the importance of taking responsibility for its conservation should prevail over the idea of the creation or not of a symbolic passport.

  • RocioU-ilc
    9/02/2018 - 11:55 p.m.

    Some people are in love of nature so they want to travel to this kind of places that they are wonderful. Antarctica is the best place to scientific research. Antarctica is losing its grandeur now due to global pollution. People around the world must know the importance of Antartica in the ecosystem.

  • IbethJ-ilc
    9/03/2018 - 05:15 p.m.

    If people collect passport stamps and visas, people might want an Antarctic passport. In others words, when people are collecting passport stamps, they try to visit each country and obtain the stamp, so they would like to obtain an Antarctic passport. On the other hand, people will have an excuse to visit the Antarctic and experiment new experiences on ice.

  • CarlosG-ilc
    9/03/2018 - 05:57 p.m.

    People might want an Antartic passport in order to protect this area. In fact, this an area that is getting dissapeared because of global warm. Hence, this zone must be protected.

  • GustavoC-ilc
    9/03/2018 - 06:16 p.m.

    People might commit to some beliefs such as sustainability, peace and equality. Antarctic is a continent without borderlines, and they offer a universal passport in order to contribute to the common benefit. In this way, this idea would involve all the world to promote the importance of this continent, where there are not problems between countries, and they will focus on cientific investigation and human accord. In consequence, people must want to go to this place.

  • JoseG-ilc
    9/03/2018 - 06:51 p.m.

    The Antarctic passport is a good idea to transmit environmental awareness and how the human activity affect the world. The Antarctic is a continent and don´t belong to any country, we should postulate to get the Antarctic´s passport and we could become in an Antarctic citizen, that sound nice.

  • MajoR-ilc
    9/03/2018 - 07:14 p.m.

    People might want an Antartic passport to demonstrate we can be a world citizens and take care of natural resources treating them as our treasure ,not just for few people , but for the world . It is a symbolic way to make people realize the importance of equality and that climate change concerns to everybody.

  • MartinF-ilc
    9/03/2018 - 07:16 p.m.

    I think people may want an Antarctic passport to support the importance of this continent, and by acquiring this passport, being part of a kind of movement of group which is concerned about taking care of this part of the world. To be more specific, even though Antarctic is not a country, the people, who buy this passport, feel that they are citizens of the world and want to protect and preserve each part of it, including Antarctic.

  • BelenM-ilc
    9/03/2018 - 07:32 p.m.

    To support the sustainability of a continent that most of the people will not visit. The initiative is important because it tries to make people aware of the importance of Antarctica.

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