Stateless States: Autonomy for a ‘new world’?

The New World Summit is an ‘artistic and political organization’ founded by Staal in 2012 that seeks to develop ‘alternative parliaments’ for ‘stateless politics’. [3] It is also to be understood as the leveraging of art to partially sequester an emergent internationalist politics from the state. NWS was originally conceived as offering a platform to organizations and political parties variously blacklisted as ‘terrorist’ by interchanging Western powers, and, in so doing, providing a necessary visualization of exclusion from a supposedly ‘democratic’ world order. The Fourth Summit in Brussels, titled the ‘Stateless State’, expanded its purview to include unrecognized states, peoples’ organizations and political parties, which occupy varying degrees of distance from the international political community. Most of the peoples at the Summit had been failed by the existing, neocolonial world order. Any criticism of the NWS as failing to connect participating parties with Western political power misses one of the event’s central tenets: that existing forms of recognition, ‘aid’ and jurisprudence further the existence of statelessness, rather than eradicating it. In the case of West Papua, for example, an unrecognized state within Indonesia which asked Staal directly if he or the Summit could force the International Court to look at their case, any recognition achieved in an international court would negate the struggles of those still blacklisted and unrecognized.

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