NoWhereIsland to come to Exmouth

A piece of Arctic land will come to Exmouth in 2012. People are being asked to become citizens of the Arts Council-funded project.

NoWhereIsland – It is a real place with no indigenous population, you cannot visit it or become a tax exile. However, Exmouth residents will be asked to become citizens next year when the piece of Arctic land will be moored offshore.

The island measures 40 by eight metres. It was discovered in 2004 by artist Alex Hartley in the High Arctic region of Svalbard in the melting ice of a retreating glacier.

Next summer, the island artwork will embark on a 500-mile voyage accompanied by a land-based embassy, which will arrive in Exmouth in August 2012.

Phil Gibby, south west Arts Council director, said: “NoWhereIsland will involve thousands of people throughout the south west and further afield, giving them an opportunity to be part of one of the biggest arts projects of the cultural Olympiad.

“We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to experience great art, and this project gives people the chance to become citizens of the island, take part in debate, or simply enjoy the experience of seeing the island appear during 2012.”

The arrival of the �500,000 Arts Council-funded project will coincide with the 2012 Jurassic Coast Earth Festival.

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It will visit seven ports and harbours during the London Olympics and Paralympics.

In Exmouth, the island is expected to be moored offshore opposite Beach Gardens.

On land will be the island’s embassy and mobile museum, which will be the site for free events and activities.

While the island remains undisturbed, with its citizens on land, Exmouth residents will be invited to pledge their allegiance to NoWhereIsland and contribute to its constitution. It is hoped ‘cordial relations’ between the island and Exmouth can exist.

The aim of the travelling island is to encourage debate on issues such as climate change and nationhood.

Already more than 2,950 people from over 20 countries have registered to become citizens.

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