Ahland: A Micronation

In 2014 Stephen Kavanagh, James Currie, Freddie Thomas and I created a micronation, Ahland. We established the nation inside the Talbot Rice Gallery and invited visitors entry across the borders during two weeks in April.

This project started as a desire to address issues of territory in the institutional gallery, and quickly progressed into the formation of independent land, notifying the Scottish Government and making contacting with other micronations across the world.

Through a programme of events, the drawing of a border, the creation of fictional customs and the mimicking or rejection of global bureaucracies, Ahland created a lens to consider political conversations around borders and Scottish independence, in Edinburgh, 2014.

Ahland’s open borders programme featured two talks: Jeroen Laureyns, professor of Contemporary Art at St. Lucas Visual Arts in Ghent, on issues of independence and Flemish culture; and artist Dave Young on border glitches and territorial proxies, focusing on the geopolitical history of Rockall, a small uninhabited islet in the North Atlantic Ocean.

We also established various schemes and awards, including a collection of essays for the Ahlandian Writers’ Award, which can be viewed here.