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
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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 (44)
  • 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.

  • RosaG-ilc
    9/04/2018 - 12:55 p.m.

    People might want an Antarctic passport as symbol of unity.

  • karlised-orv
    9/06/2018 - 11:22 a.m.

    People might want to get an Antartica passport because they want to see what its like to be in the coldest place in the world. That's one of the reasons I would go down there.

  • kinniel-orv
    9/07/2018 - 11:37 a.m.

    I've always wanted to go to Antarctica. I have always hated cold places. I would make a jacket that has heat in it so I can always stay warm.

  • jordanw-orv1
    9/11/2018 - 02:43 p.m.

    I don't see why people would give out passports to Antarctica. I feel like Antarctica should be its own place. I want it to be unexplored.

  • ethanm-orv
    9/12/2018 - 11:53 a.m.

    I thought this was going to be about a real passport. Why would people want to live in Antartica?

  • Taylorp-eic
    9/14/2018 - 10:27 a.m.

    People might want to travel places that are beautiful. So i think its a good thing.

  • Alexr-eic
    9/14/2018 - 10:48 a.m.

    It's kinda cool that you can go to antarctic but I think most people wouldn't go there for vacation

  • Alliec-eic
    9/14/2018 - 11:13 a.m.

    Not very many people can say that they live in Antarctica, it's pretty cool

  • Haydenc-eic
    9/14/2018 - 01:25 p.m.

    People would like to get a Antarctic passport to enjoy the south side of the world

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