Pictures from the PoliNation 2010 micronation conference that was held on Dangar Island, Sydney on 17 April 2010, and billed as “the world’s first-ever conference on micronations”, are now available for viewing, courtesy of George (Georgivs) and his FarDistantShores.com travel and art photography website.
The password for the photo gallery below is “micronation”.
Studying the pictures, I can notice that the number of the people present appear to be surprisingly not much smaller than what I personally experienced at the Third North American Secessionist Convention that was held 14-16 November 2008 in Manchester, New Hampshire. I estimate that the PoliNation 2010 conference attracted at least 40 delegates, academics, and media people, while the Third North American Secessionist Convention attracted some 80 delegates at best.
The differences I see were:
- The PoliNation 2010 conference was a one-day thing, and while there was at first a $25 registration fee, in the end the event was entirely sponsored by Macquarie University, one of Australia’s leading research universities. There was also a significant academic present, Dr Judy Lattas, several independent scholars, and Associated Press reporters showed up for the event, and did interviews.
- The Third North American Secessionist Convention was really a two-day thing, and while hotel discounts were arranged with the Radisson Hotel Manchester by the Middlebury Institute, the convention was really financed by the attending nations. No academics were present other than Dr Thomas H. Naylor, a retired academic, and the independent scholar Kirkpatrick Sale, Director of the Middlebury Institute. There was also someone from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but it was clear that he was little more than a graduate student. The Associated Press published an insignificant brief about the convention on the day it was supposed to start, but without actually sending anyone to the convention, and there were no other major media or news organisations present.
In other words, a Fifth World, or micronational event, generated pretty much the same interest as a Fourth World, or macronational event, but the Fifth World event managed to outshine the Fourth World event by attracting significant academic and media attention.
Besides being organised events about communities disaffected with the Official World, the only common thread to these two events was that PoliNation 2010 attracted delegates entirely from the Australian continent, while the Third North American Secessionist Convention attracted delegates entirely from the North American continent. These non-Official World events, in other words, are not likely to attract more than national, or at best, continent-wide attention even under the best of circumstances. This should remind all Fifth Worlders around the world, that the petty and uncivil bickering that often goes on between leaders of different micronations leads to nothing of substance, and certainly to no progress in the micronational, or Fifth and Sixth Worlds.