Antarctica World Passport | Métisse Flag

Festival of the World, Southbank Centre

1 June – 9 September 2012

Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World is a celebration of how art can change lives and what it means to be a citizen of the world. Across its 21-acre site, Southbank Centre has brought together artists from around the globe who are demonstrating that when people work creatively together, individual lives and communities can change for the better. For the festival Prof Lucy Orta of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion + Jorge Orta have been commissioned to create two ambitious new works from their Antarctica series: Métisse Flag and the Antarctica World Passport Delivery Bureau.

The Antarctic Treaty signed in 1959 states that Antarctica is a common territory dedicated to cultural and scientific cooperation and all military activity is banned. Antarctica exemplifies a community that strives for peace and social progress.

The artists’ Antarctica World Passport Delivery Bureau, a huge labyrinth installation of reclaimed materials inside the Southbank’s Spirit Level Gallery will issue 30,000 facsimile passport documents to the festival visitors aspiring to become a citizen of the new Antarctica world community. The applicants will join the tens of thousands of citizens who have already received an individual passport, an original artwork to be treasured and passed on the future generations as a testament to share common ideals.

Their second artwork, a monumental crown of flags will be raised above the roof of the Royal Festival Hall. The Métisse Flag, which was first created for their Antarctic expedition in 2007, will stand proudly over looking the river Thames as a symbol of the festival, allowing all peoples to coexist harmoniously as the nations’ emblems merge to create a larger common identity.