ATLAS of countries that "don't exist"
Unbeknownst to many, today’s world hides a multitude of territories that have proclaimed themselves independent but - for a variety of reasons - have not been recognized by the international community.
An Atlas of Countries that “Don’t Exist” is a photographic project that, starting from the observation of the paradoxical situation of five among these places and the real experience of their inhabitants, explores the characteristics that determine the identity of a country and its people. Through an imaginary journey to real places, this work stimulates reflection on the concept of self-determination and nationality at a time in history when borders of all kinds-genetic, linguistic, cultural, economic, fiscal, gender-are constantly being redefined and becoming increasingly hybrid
The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, signed in 1933 by 19 countries belonging to the American continent, was intended to regulate F.D.Roosevelt’s imperialist tendencies.
Still in force today, it proposes a conventional model of four rules underlying the definition of a state, namely:
- a permanent population
- a defined territory
- an exclusive governmental power
- the ability to maintain relations with other states
Yet, a little further on, Article 3 declares that: “the status of a State is independent of the recognition of other countries.”.
This Atlas focuses its research on the physical, historical, cutural and political characteristics through which these territories and their inhabitants compose their national and personal identities.
On the one hand, it goes in search of the elements that constitute a person’s identity: the way one comes into the world, the way one is preserved after death, one’s family, the celebration of rites of passage; on the other it investigates the aspects underlying the national identity: the local territory, flora, fauna, historical places, political-administrative places, folklore, traditions, language, and the most locally famous people.