You might have already spotted the unusual presence of a small, dark island moving around the coast of England this summer; it first made an appearance in Weymouth and three weeks later it’s finally arrived in Cornwall!
The ‘floating island sculpture’, as its creators describe it, is actually a real piece of land being pulled by tugboat on a tour from the Arctic as part of an initiative known as Nowhereisland.
It’s making its way around the Southwest in the hope of stimulating debate around ideas like citizenship, nationhood and climate change, under the banner of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
And if you’re visiting Eden on 17 or 18 August 2012 you’ll be able to take part in the fun by dropping into Nowhereisland’s Embassy. This is a mobile museum full of intriguing objects and there’s even the chance to become a citizen of the island, which has been declared a new nation.
Artist Alex Hartley discovered the new island – which is about the size of a football pitch – on an expedition to the Arctic, where it was revealed by the melting ice of the Negribreen glacier. He began the legal process of declaring it a new nation as a way of parodying the UK’s own history of colonialism and also the increasing practice of land grabbing taking place across the world.
So far more than 18,000 people have signed up as citizens of Nowhereisland, offering their own ideas for an evolving constitution, which range from the frivolous (everyone should be greeted with Eskimo kisses) to the practical (one day a year should be dedicated to cleaning up the environment) to the tub-thumping (no bonuses for bankers).
Alongside this public participation are 52 ‘resident thinkers’, including our very own CEO Tim Smit, who are contributing letters on a weekly basis over the year. You can read Tim Smit’s ideas here.
Where to see Nowhereisland
The island is currently making its way around the Cornish coast. Find out on the Nowhereisland website where you can see it moored off the coast. You can visit the Embassy at the Eden Project on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 August between 12 and 5pm – it’s just near the WEEE Man, outdoors in the centre of the site.
Check out the film below all about the Embassy’s visit to Cornwall’s Mevagissey.