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 unequivocally, “no.” Antarctica’s not a country. It’s a continent that will never be a nation. But no biggie, say artists Lucy and Jorge Orta. They’re giving out passports to Antarctica, anyway. That's according to Allison Meier reporting for Hyperallergic.

So far, 53 countries are privy to the Antarctic Treaty. In 1959, it stipulated 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 for the chilly, barren continent. Rather, their art is inspired by and centered around the peaceful possibilities of a continent 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 tenets of sustainability, peace and equality 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 to the continent 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 combining the flags of all nations that 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 that symbolize Antarctica’s borderless possibilities.

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

If the passport were hypothetically real, would it revoke an owner’s United States citizenship? Perhaps—people who apply for foreign nationalities with the intention of giving up their U.S. nationality lose their rights as nationals. But for now, there’s nothing keeping anyone from asserting their rights and responsibilities as an Antarctic citizen—and a citizen 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 (6)
  • SkylerHildebran-aus
    9/26/2018 - 11:15 a.m.

    because its not a everyday thing you can do or like its a very rare thing you can do

  • JacobLong-aus
    9/26/2018 - 01:50 p.m.

    to visit and see how different it is from where we came from

  • ahatz-wim4
    10/12/2018 - 12:03 p.m.

    People might want an Antarctic passport because its not a normal thing to go on vacation to Antarctica.Someone might also want to get a passport to Antarctica because they may want to see what its like for maybe even just a little bit if they even go. They might even get a passport just to say they've gotten a passport to Antarctica!

  • EmilyA-lam
    10/26/2018 - 08:48 a.m.

    I think this is a good idea because this is telling people to be nice and remember to try not to create wars with other people. It is a really good message for everyone to know. Some people need to remember that we have to enjoy life and not create wars with each other.

  • JohnS-lam
    10/26/2018 - 11:46 a.m.

    From this article, I think people shouldn't be allowed to get a passport to Antartica unless you actually plan on heading to Antartica. Now for the critical question, I would say people would just want to show it off to colleagues and or to brag, like saying "I'm going to Antartica here's my passport" others might actually want to go there and research the climate and other things.

  • KatherineG-lam
    10/26/2018 - 11:54 a.m.

    This is a really good idea! Most people never get the chance to see Antarctica and it's a great opportunity to learn about a continent that most people never go to. You could be the first person you know to go to Antarctica!

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