fbpx

03-IMG_3413

The Kingdom of Calsahara

07-IMG_2924

Freetown Christiania

06-IMG_3006

The Republic of Molossia

Drawn to small places with improbable histories, photographer Léo Delafontaine could be described as a modern day explorer. Upon the discovery of the Principality of Sealand, a military platform situated on international waters ruled by a constitutional monarchy, he knew this would be the start of a new documentary project. After some research he realized these independent entities, or Micronations, as the series is titled, are not an isolated phenomenon and many other similar nations exist throughout the world.

Beginning in 2012, Delafontaine embarked on a worldwide tour, visiting all the small nations that live within their own sovereign state, separate from the governing bodies in which they are located. While there are hundreds of micronations scattered throughout the world, they are not recognized by governments or international organizations.

The citizens of these nations, according to Delafontaine, are well educated, curious, and live with a little bit of irony. They enjoy dressing up and mocking the institutions of their country of origin. Take for example, the Republic of Molossia, located in Nevada with a population of 27. The founder Kevin Braugh is highly active on the micronational scene; in 2000 he organized the first Microlympic Games (and won the gold metal in Frisbee).

Gaining access to these nations was surprisingly easy, Delafontaine explains. “I was really welcome all the time and people were really enthusiastic about the project,” he says. What did he take away from the experience? “A lot of fun, some incredible talks and debates with emperors and kings on what it’s like to run a country, and the feeling to have travelled in a parallel world.”

03-IMG_1882

The Principality of Seborga

02-IMG_4470

The Empire of Atlantium

IMG_1823

The Consulate of La Boire

27-IMG_1522

The Kingdom of Elleore

19-IMG_1454

The Kingdom of Elleore

09-IMG_2641

The Principality of Sealand

06-IMG_7636

The Republic of Saugeis

04-IMG_2400

The Principality of Sealand

03-IMG_7528

The Republic of Saugeis

03-IMG_3187

The Republic of Molossia

All images © Léo Delafontaine

Discover More