The Great Micronation of West Indica – Posted in

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On November 2, Micronesia of West Antarctica celebrates the 20th anniversary of the day 21-year-old Travis McHenry decided to discover the one and a half million square miles[1.5 million sq km]of uninhabited land in western Antarctica. It is five times the surface area of ​​Italy, so there is not much micronation, even if it is defined as a sovereign project of a few people that other countries do not approve of.

This is a place that McHenry has never visited and even intends to visit: the twentieth anniversary will actually be celebrated at his residence in the United States, from which he plans to fly the flag of his micronation. He has a cross, white on a blue background, and a white crown on the top left.

In many ways, Vestartica is similar to many other micronations of at least a hundred people who think they are somehow active in the world right now. In the sense that it is primarily established for entertainment and mostly exists on the internet, for example in Smaller version of Wikipedia: Here a whole series of history, slogans, literature, characteristics, public organization, events and curiosities are described in great detail. Often with humorous tones: the voice dedicated to the flag, for example, “The country has undergone many changes since it first declared itself a sovereign state”, and the first flag (This) Says, “It was generally regarded as a blink of an eye”, “the ugliest and most confusing in the history of vexology”.

In some of its features, Vestartica still remains a minor goliath micronation because it was in its early years. However, for some time now, it has been trying to be something else He said An article in a travel magazine Away, According to Westartica “is now using its power for things other than dominating Antarctica.” In fact, Westartica has become a non – profit association for a number of years, with the main goal of raising awareness not only among “citizens” but also among people on issues related to climate change.

When he decided to find it twenty years ago, McHenry had not thought about charity. Born in Benton, Pennsylvania, he attended a nearby university and developed a passion for drama, after which he decided to join the Navy, which was involved in counter-terrorism intelligence operations. He read while on duty CIA World Factbook, A book published every year by the CIA, containing a wide variety of information, numbers, and curiosities about every country in the world, and he realized that no country had officially claimed much of the Arctic.

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Other countries (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, UK, Russia, US) claimed other territories, but no one seems to have done so. Already obsessed with micronation (he tried in 1996, without much success, to find one) McHenry learned a little about it, studied the Antarctic Treaty (an international treaty of 1959) and decided to send a letter to all countries claiming territories. In Antarctica, he had to tell people in the area that Westarctica would form in his head.

– Also read: What law is in force in Antarctica?

No one answered, and there is no other real country that recognizes the legitimacy of West Indica. However, to the displeasure of others, McHenry continued: he wrote other letters (one that deals with the US State Department dealing with the oceans and polar circles, indicating its desire to “use those areas for research and future colonization”) and to create a smaller site for its micronization at the time. There was another name that sounded louder: “Achayan Territory of Antarctica”. “Achius” from an adjective that Homeric poems refer to the Greeks, because he had recently readIliad.

McHenry, who calls himself the Grand Duke of Travis in the West Indies business, did nothing to promote the “Achaean Territory of Antarctica” site, and spoke out. Away He recalled that the site was “terrible”, “I still don’t know how some people came to find it.” But someone decided to end it and play together, collaborating on the creation of the micronational story and the imaginative and digital creation of everything that could be used to give micronation an identity.

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– Also read: Micronation on concrete and metal platforms in the North Sea

Although the Internet has had micronutrients before, some of them are well known and well known, and for almost twenty years things in this area have been simple. The Internet facilitated contact and collaboration between distant people interested in the project, and unleashed the idea of ​​micronation from the actual creation or occupation of a particular physical space.

Vestartica says there are boundaries in the real world. And well A capital, An army and two colonial estates, one of them Within the United States, This was “Conquered“On October 29, 2017, the Micronation Wiki said:” It has a lot in common with Westarctica because it’s remote, uninhabited, and unfavorable, and no one seems to care much about it. “

In short, Vestartica mostly exists on the Internet, thanks to the Internet. As said Away Philip Howard, one of the world’s greatest micronation experts: “Many of these stories do not point to practicality; They are symbols, performances, fantasies or aspirations അത് that in some cases become parodies of real nations or more or less clear critiques of the concept of nation and power. Book of 2015 Atlas of Micronations Graziano Graziani, an expert on the subject, wrote in the following chapters: “Fantasies in power”, “Protests”, “Against power”, “Dystopius”.

– Also read: The original story of the Isle of Roses

After the first users overtook the story of the “Achaean Territory of Antarctica” on the Internet, a lot happened. The island changed its name and flag because of a long series on how to handle it. It happened in 2006, for example, that McHenry, who remained in the Navy, handed over the leadership of the micronation to a then Minister of Information. Online discussions continued among micronation fans, and a time came when interest waned and Vestartica became almost inactive.

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McHenry, who left the Navy in 2009, regained control of Westarthica and brought it back on track, then found a few dozen followers to follow. Over the past decade, McHenry has revolutionized many aspects of his life (changing jobs, leaving his wife and marrying a co-worker, writing books and making podcasts) and Away In 2014, he said he was about to leave Vestartica.

Instead he decided to continue it and unite West Indies Non-profit It attracts curious and passionate people with its antics and then tries to make them aware of issues related to climate change and the protection of Antarctica, especially a large part of West Indies. By raising funds in this way.

In other words, Vestartica continues to do micronation stuff – in 2022 Sarah Among the organizers of the Microcon, the World Conference of Micronesia – McHenry continues to be called the Grand Duke, sometimes dressed as he really was. The main focus of Vestartica, which claims to have thousands of citizens, of which 500 are active online in micronation, is now raising money, and has raised tens of thousands of dollars in recent years. “I’m given people something to believe,” McHenry said Away “I did it for a good cause. Vestartica started out for my ego and became one for the environment.

Contacted, The Honorary Consulate of Vestartica, Italy Did not answer. On Facebook, the last post on the page is from June 2020.

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