Under the Mermaid Flag: Achzivland and the performance of micronationality on ancestral Palestinian land

Philip Hayward

Abstract


This article considers the relationship between symbolism, interpretation and grounded reality with regard to “Achzivland,” a small area on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean that was declared an independent micronation in 1972. The article commences by identifying the principal geo-political and military factors that created the terrain for the enactment of fantasy utopianism, namely the forced removal of the area’s Palestinian population in 1948 and the nature of Israeli occupation and management of the region since. Following this, the article shifts to address related symbolic/allusive elements, including the manner in which a flag featuring a mermaid has served as the symbol for a quasi-national territory whose founder — Eli Avivi — has been compared to the fictional character Peter Pan, and his fiefdom to J.M. Barrie’s fictional “Never Never Land”. Consideration of the interconnection of these (forceful and figurative) elements allows the discourse and rhetoric of Achzivland’s micronationality to be contextualised in terms of more concrete political struggles in the region.


Keywords


Achzivland; Micronationality; Palestine Israel Mermaids Peter Pan

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/co20192772-89

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