I live in Taiwan, a place that considers itself a country, and yes, I can vouch, by personal experience, it does function as an independent country as it has its own currency, banks, elected officials, laws. I pay my taxes, have health insurance, residency, and have public education available, etc. Now many other countries do not consider Taiwan as an independent country, but rather a “renegade province of China.”
So this got me to thinking about statehood and what constitutes a country. Artists have been questioning this idea for decades. An early example is Ono-Lennon’s Nutopia. Then there is Ladonia by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, AVL Ville by Atelier van Lieshout and Peter Coffin’s display of micronations which summed up the current situation of autonomous states at the Palais de Tokyo last March. Check http://mnn.mncentre.net for a current list of micronations; the list seems to be expanding. (I want to secede from my current state … of mind).
And check out www.culture.tw , a website sponsored by Taiwan’s Council of Culture Affairs. I write an Opinion column for it. You’ll see that there’s a lotta kulchur comin’ out of this (non) country.
What do you think?
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Posted by Susan at 10:20 PM