You Can Get an Antarctica World Passport
In 1959 the Antarctic Treaty stipulated that the southernmost continent “shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.” But the Ortas don’t see that as a barrier to issuing passports for the chilly, barren continent. Rather, their art is inspired by and centered around the peaceful possibilities of a continent devoted to scientific research and human accord.
The Ortas have developed a program called the Antarctica World Passport as “an advocacy tool to engage people around the world in the importance of a remote place most of us will never visit.” People who commit to tenets of sustainability, peace and equality can request a virtual passport online or visit the couple’s “Antarctic World Passport Delivery Bureau” at their exhibitions.
The couple were commissioned to create the Antarctica World Passport program and their arts and awareness exhibition to the continent at the 2007 End of the World Biennial, an art event that brought artists from all over the world to celebrate Earth’s southernmost climes. Later that year, the Ortas traveled to Antarctica to raise their “Antarctic Flag”—a kaleidoscopic flag combining the flags of all nations that represents the coexistence of all world identities. Their trip to Antarctica also included the construction of 50 handmade dwellings stitched from national flags, clothing and other objects that symbolize Antarctica’s borderless possibilities.