the mermaid has recently learned about artificial islands. these are structures made by land-folk for a variety of purposes. all in all, they seem to be less about exploring sea culture than about testing new forms of land culture. the mermaid found them described as ‘laboratories’.
the first one the mermaid came across was the ‘seasteading institute’, which constructs ‘floating cities’ in order to ‘peacefully test new ideas for government’. this project appears to attract lots of attention and support amongst landfolk, although also some criticism.
the second type of artificial islands were described to the mermaid as places built by materially wealthy elders in order not to have to share part of their possessions. the mermaid finds this concept hard to understand and has to do more research into this obsession with accumulating things and not wishing to share with others.
the third island is called ‘nowhereisland’ and appears to address a similar concern: ‘if we were to found a new nation, where would you begin?’ in contrast to the seasteading project, nowhereisland is a ‘migrant nation’, but one you cannot enter. physically hostile and inaccessible, it acts as a prompt to participate in existing nations and modes of governance. it also draws attention to existing and future shifting boundaries and migration, as for instance prompted by climate change.
as far as the mermaid understands, the project is affiliated with a landfolk cultural phenomenon which celebrates certain forms of physical activity. it was explained to the mermaid, that this ‘festival’ also has a history of displacing people, thus mirroring the concerns of the migrant island nation. which makes the project rather interesting…
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