Liberland. Utopian Border land
An aerial view of the Liberland Metaverse vision. Image courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects.
Zaha Hadid Architects plans a metaverse city for Liberland
In January, Liberland unveiled its most dazzling and arguably most compelling proposal to date. In collaboration with Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects, Jedlička portrayed his country as a futuristic crypto paradise through a city entirely realized in the metaverse. Imagine a National Assembly Hall, a bustling NFT bazaar, office towers, all in the sweeping architectural style worthy of Hadid.
ZHA director Patrik Schumacher has personally spearheaded the metaverse version of a contested quasi-free state called the Free Republic of Liberland since shortly after its founding in 2015 by the so-called libertarian Czech politician Vít Jedlička (who prefers the honorary title "Mr. President").
Jedlička and Schumacher's joint reach has grown over the years and now seeks to (virtually) cement its place in the popular imagination through the establishment of an institutional infrastructure and the promotion of eventual recognition of the UN statehood.
"It was time to turn the ideas into something more concrete," said the 38-year-old politician. Quartz. “It is important to show the world that we are serious about starting development in Liberland.”
An avowed libertarian himself, Schumacher says the parametric design institutional building program will have a digital presence hosted on the Mytavers platform that should be a degree or two easier to construct than physical buildings given its lack of security codes and its dimensions delimited in the same way. "Experience managing large construction sites is not necessary here," he said. "It's more focused on the core skill of design."
According to Schumacher, Liberland Metaverse is still a work in progress and a collaborative effort between Liberland, ZHA, Mytaverse, and ArchAgenda. (By Butterfly Linville)
Liberland, the first crypto-libertarian nation in Europe, this European microstate that worries France
Created on the banks of the Danube, between Croatia and Serbia, Liberland markets diplomatic passports. The police are sounding the alarm.
On April 13, 2015, Vít Jedlička is jubilant. He has just officially announced the birth certificate of his micronation on a stateless enclave located on the banks of the Danube, between Serbia and Croatia. For the moment, Liberland exists mainly on the Internet via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages powered by its self-proclaimed president. But, Vít Jedlička has requests for half a million passports: his micronation is causing a stir. His promises? Freeing oneself from the State, proposing a citizenship freed from any form of tax contribution, undertaking in complete freedom and applying the principles of private property to all aspects of life. A radically libertarian antiphon that appeals to an increasingly large part of the population. Citizens have been trying to reach this Promised Land since the summer of 2015, before the systematic obstructions of the Croatian police discouraged them.
Liberland is a vast island (three times Monaco) on the Danube between Serbia and Croatia. Its founders seized the opportunity of a border definition conflict between these two states to create ex-nihilo a state with very limited powers.
“Live and let live”,
the motto of the Republic of Liberland, a micro-state created in 2015 in the Balkans, on the banks of the Danube between Serbia and Croatia, comes up against the regulated “free movement” within Schengen area.
This self-proclaimed nation, founded by a Czech entrepreneur, Vit Jedlicka, claims a “society where honest citizens can prosper without laws, regulations or ineffective and burdensome state taxes”. A few kilometers of land that no border country claims and governed by libertarian doctrines.
According to our information, the French authorities are wary of this micro-nation, which is not recognized by the international community and which is spoken about very little in the general press. Police officers from the Internal Security Service (SSI), the International Cooperation Directorate and its branch based at the French Embassy in Belgrade (Serbia) alerted the Border Police (PAF) to the trade in diplomatic passports. According to the investigators, with 5,000 dollars (4,300 euros) payable in bitcoins, anyone can acquire the precious sesame.
$5,000 for a diplomatic passport
Les sleuths de jeunes français, Timothée Demeilleurs and Grégoire Osoha, have been sensitized by their Serbian counterparts. Since February 2020, the latter have noticed an upsurge in Indian nationals at the capital's airport in possession of diplomatic passports from the "Free Republic of Liberland". The most recent case dates from February 6, 2020, when a holder of this safe-conduct intended to embark for London.
“This microstate is an uncontrolled gateway to France. Once an individual has bought their passport, they are allowed to enter the Schengen area, anything can happen! ” worries a source at the border police based in Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, the airport platform which has the most intelligence agents, all services combined.
France refuses entry into its territory
In fact, a note from the PAF's immigration analysis and monitoring group (Gasai), dated March 3, 2020, obliges border officials to refuse entry into France to "nationals" of Liberland. He considers the administrative documents in their possession as "fanciful and by definition not recognized by France".
The note listed the countries at risk through which those who have acquired these passports are likely to pass. The police are supposed to look twice at arrivals from Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and, more broadly, the Near and Middle East. As well as flights departing for London are also the subject of particular attention. According to the Gasai document, Liberland received half a million citizenship applications, including 100,000 from the Middle East and 18,000 from the United States. Liberland has not yet made known its position on closing the borders to its nationals with diplomatic passports.
Liberland: struggling for its survival. What future for this new liberal micro-state?
The Croatian definition of the border corresponds to the old and winding Danube crossing, while the Serbian definition corresponds to the more direct crossing of the Danube today. The territory of Liberland is located on the island of Siga which is therefore a terra nullius according to both definitions. Other islands are claimed by these two states; most are controlled by Serbia whose border theory is militarily easier to implement.
Serbia is benevolent towards the people of Liberia. On the contrary, Croatia has its police arrest anyone who ventures onto this land. The island of Liberland would be a small consolation prize for Croatia if it were to recognize the Serbian border theory. However Croatia refuses to recognize the Serbian theory and is therefore in contradiction with its own theory when it occupies Liberland.
The Liberland Settlement Association aims to help in practice the establishment of the first settlers. On site, it is the most active organization. For the moment, it organizes missions to claim the territory against the Croatian police. Its headquarters, located in Serbia near the Danube, allows easy access to Liberland.
Recently, the Liberian Crom has placed himself at the center of the Croatian legal debate concerning Liberland. Having entered Liberland from the Serbian side of the modern Danube, he was first arrested by the Croatian police on the grounds of irregular entry into Croatian territory, and temporarily banned from leaving Croatian territory. Then arriving in Liberland from the Croatian side of the old Danube, he was again arrested by the Croatian police this time on the grounds of irregular exit from Croatian territory.
The objective of the LSA is to highlight the legal inconsistency of the Croatian authorities for which Liberland would be both inside and outside Croatia. It is a question of forcing Croatia to clarify the real position of its borders in the double light of its Danubian doctrine and its occupation of Liberland.
For the moment, the Croatian authorities seem to want to make Crom pay dearly for bringing this inconsistency to light. According to the LSA, on Tuesday, July 14, a trial judge, without a defense hearing, sentenced Crom to 58 days in jail. Such a sentence, pronounced without the most basic measures of respect for the right of defence, would cast a harsh light on Croatian justice, unworthy of the European Union, whose methods and inconsistency the Court of Justice risks not appreciating.
The future of Liberland is uncertain to say the least. If Croatia ends up complying with its own definition of the border, a new page can be written for the Liberians. If, on the other hand, Croatia agrees with the Serbian definition of the border, what will happen to this beautiful project? In this scenario, the people of Liberia will be able to proudly display their contribution to peace in the Balkans.
To weigh, the participation of many goodwill could prove decisive. It is a question of showing that the project is widely supported and not the work of a few teenagers borrowed from madness. Individual freedom has always been such a subversive notion that its defenders, described as madmen in this Orwellian world, have only too rarely had such a great opportunity to show that madness is good!
(By Citinavi team)