Uploaded by vice on Feb 1, 2012

KRISHNA: Hey guys, we're in Sweden to learn about a quirky
geopolitical phenomenon called micronations.
They're sort of small self-declared countries that
aren't actually recognized by any other official government.
Sweden has several of them, and we're going to see two,
along with my co-pilot, Chris.
CHRIS: Hi, Krishna.
How are you doing?
KRISHNA: Good, Chris.
What time is it?
CHRIS: It's three in the afternoon.
KRISHNA: It's 3:00 PM.
And as you can see, the sun has set.
Because it's Sweden in the winter time.
So we're going to have to wake up bright and early, like 9
o'clock, when the sun comes up, to get our start.

So Chris, tell me a little bit more about yourself.
CHRIS: Basically, after years of disillusionment in my
chosen profession as a geotechnical engineer, just
hating on it, I jumped in a boat and disappeared.
CHRIS: I went to Canada, hung out, snowboarded for a while.
And so where are we off to, man?
KRISHNA: We're going to the kingdom of Ladonia.
It's a micronation in the south of Sweden.
CHRIS: Yeah.
KRISHNA: And it was started by this artists, Lars Vilks.
And he was a pretty controversial, provocative
artist, who made these two giant
sculptures on a nature reserve.
Which you're not allowed to do.
And so people were very upset about it.
The government tried to take it down.
So in an effort to keep that sculpture up, he formed this
micronation called Ladonia.
CHRIS: So this guy might be crazy or--
KRISHNA: It's really hard to tell.
Crazy enough, at least, to start a nation called Ladonia.
Hey, Lars.
LARS: Hello.
LARS: Nice seeing you.
Welcome here, welcome.
Just follow me.
CHRIS: So as I've noticed, we're being followed by two
guys with earpieces in.
What's going on there?
LARS: That's been going on for almost a year.
They are body guards.
And from the secret police.
One exhibition I had a drawing of the prophet Muhammad.
And this one actually was discussed and
published in a newspaper.
And Al Qaeda finally put a price on my head,
$150,000 on my head.
LARS: So I'm worth that now.

KRISHNA: So what's this line over here?
LARS: Here's the border.
And we have Sweden here and we have Ladonia
on the other side.
KRISHNA: So I'm currently in Sweden,
and this is the border.
LARS: Yes.
KRISHNA: Chris, do you want to go into Ladonia?
LARS: Yeah.
CHRIS: I'm in.
KRISHNA: You're in.

KRISHNA: So why did you paint an actual border?
LARS: I think it's very good to find out where one country
stops and another one begins.
KRISHNA: There we go.
Let's do it.
LARS: It's another a feeling on the other side.
KRISHNA: Now we are guests in your country.
LARS: Yeah.
The policy is normally that we let people go in.
LARS: Not out.
Did you hear that, Chris?
We're not coming out.
CHRIS: That's alright.
I brought a sandwich and a banana, so I should
survive a few days.
LARS: Take the few last steps here.
And then it kind of moves into your sight here.
And here you have the overview here.
KRISHNA: Oh, wow.
CHRIS: I feel like I'm in Peter Pan or something.
KRISHNA: Yeah, there's like a child-like tree house
KRISHNA: Who is this?
LARS: This is the Minister of Art and Jump.
KRISHNA: Oh, I'm sorry.
We've been shaking hands.
CHRIS: I feel so, so rude now.

KRISHNA: Alright, here's the president.
FREDERIK: It's not his head.
It's the whole president here
KRISHNA: That's the whole president, a pair of loafers?

KRISHNA: Please tell me the history of both these
structures, but also of Ladonia.
LARS: This began in 1980, when I was doing some
art projects here.
And I found a lot of driftwood here.
So I started to build with that.
KRISHNA: We're on a natural reserve, is that right?
So you've built--
even though it was prohibited to build
here, you built something.
LARS: Yeah.
KRISHNA: So are you sort of at war with Sweden?
Do you feel like--
LARS: This was this other court case that was removing
the pieces.
The first was the criminal act.
But then we have the court, where they're
moving away the pieces.
And I got away with that because I sold the piece.
So if they want to remove it, they have to go through him.
Swedish law doesn't work here.
It's illegal.
They can't to move it away.
So that was the basic idea for Ladonia.
Here we have something which is not controlled by Sweden.
So let's make a country here.
KRISHNA: Does Sweden say that this is Ladonia?
Do they recognize Ladonia as a country?
LARS: Of course not.
Because they think it is a joke.
KRISHNA: They think it's a joke.
LARS: Yeah.
KRISHNA: Is it a joke?
LARS: It's a fiction.
But the joke is also a fiction.
KRISHNA: Explain that.
LARS: We use this as something to hide behind.
While we're doing the real thing, we say,
oh, we're just joking.
KRISHNA: So you're joking, but you're not joking.
But you are joking.
LARS: We are using the joke to actually make things the real.
CHRIS: Whoa.

KRISHNA: Lars turned Ladonia into a micronation to protect
his art from the Swedish authorities.
Now Chris and I are headed north, to check out another
micronation called Jamtland.
It was established in the 1960s as a republic in a
protest against the rapid urbanization of Sweden.

EWERT: Ah, there you are.
KRISHNA: Krishna.
EWERT: Krishna.
CHRIS: Chris.
EWERT: Chris.
Let's go in and have a beer, a president beer.
KRISHNA: President beer, let's do it.
CHRIS: My favorite.

KRISHNA: So then what is Jamtland?
EWERT: It started out in '63 as a reaction against the
exploitation, exploiting.
KRISHNA: What were they--
The Swedish people?
The Swedish government?
EWERT: Yeah, the Swedish government, and all the big
companies, you know, cutting down the forests.
KRISHNA: So there's no hierarchies?
KRISHNA: No, no.
No hierarchies.
I would have never accepted to be president for a people who
thought they needed one.
EWERT: Right.
EWERT: He's just an act I'm putting on.
KRISHNA: Just an act?
EWERT: He's just an act, yeah.
KRISHNA: So what qualities about yourself do you hope
people look up to?
EWERT: I've tried to do as little as possible.
KRISHNA: But it seems like there are two sides of it.
There's a serious conservation aspect, but also playful, or
maybe a joking aspect.
Which one do you think is more?
EWERT: The joking aspect.
KRISHNA: The joking aspect.
EWERT: Yeah.
To make fun of other dictators.
You see, yeah.
KRISHNA: Yeah, let's see.
EWERT: That's why I put these on.
You know the big dictators like Qaddafi, and the other
guys, and Ceaucescu, they like uniforms, a lot of medallions.
KRISHNA: Because being the head of state, you're expected
to be a very strong man.
EWERT: Yeah, that's putting on an act, alright.
KRISHNA: I also heard that there's a
national anthem to Jamtland.
EWERT: Yes, there is.
KRISHNA: Can you teach it to us?
EWERT: See what happens, if anybody catches up.
CHRIS: We want people catch up.

CHRIS: Yeah.
KRISHNA: Way to go.
EWERT: We didn't rehearse that, you know.
KRISHNA: Ewert told us about the two sides of Jamtland.
And last night he showed us Jamtland's less serious side.
Today we headed out to see the more conservationist live off
the land side of the micronation.
KRISHNA: So Peter, we are at your family's farmhouse in
Skyttmon, right in the middle of Jamtland.
PETER: Yes, that's correct.
KRISHNA: So what do most people in
Jamtland do for a living?
PETER: I think they live on tourists.
A lot of people come to Jamtland and look for the
nature and everything.
And a lot of people work with tourists.
PETER: Hunting is very important for Jamtland.
A lot of people in Jamtland hunt, almost moose.
KRISHNA: So being very isolated, and being in the
countryside, and in the woods, you have
to subsist for yourself.
PETER: I have I meat from the moose in the forest, and
potatoes you can see outside.
I have fish in the pond on the other side.
KRISHNA: And how many dogs do you have?
PETER: I have five [INAUDIBLE].
CHRIS: Am I correct that they are the only dogs that will
actually not be scared of a bear, and will
actually go for a bear?
PETER: Yes, the go for the bear, not scared.
CHRIS: Much like Jamtland is not scared of Sweden.
PETER: Exactly.


These dogs seem to like it in the Mini, huh?
(BABY VOICE) look at their sweet little faces.
There you go.
There you go.
You cuties.
What are those, over there, Peter?
PETER: It's the leg from the moose.
I have saved it for the dogs.
CHRIS: They're actually quite good, because you can use them
as a back scratcher as well.
PETER: And in Jamtland they also have a competition.
They have a [INAUDIBLE] who can--
KRISHNA: Throw them farther?
PETER: Throw them long way.
CHRIS: Do you think we could try this?
PETER: Yes, you can try it.

KRISHNA: Alright.
See if I can beat that.
KRISHNA: I guess you win.
PETER: I think it's good for first time.

KRISHNA: Peter was a really sort of gentle fellow, it
seemed at first.
But after him showing us his various hunting equipments and
telling us about how he goes hunting 60 times a year, it
was pretty clear that he was a pretty manly man.

CHRIS: When skinny boys become men.
KRISHNA: Peter looks so mild mannered, but he is so badass.
CHRIS: Oh, it's ridiculous.
He's got dogs that take down bears.
KRISHNA: He smokes his own meat.
He's got a sauna that he built from timber on his land.
He spends a day carving moose that he kills himself.
CHRIS: Why would you import anything when you've got this?
KRISHNA: Yeah, exactly.

So Chris, we have been to a couple of
micronations here in Sweden.
What do you think?
CHRIS: I thought it was a really cool experience.
We met some interesting people, some
really quirky people.
And basically it reminded me of what's going on the world
at the moment with the Occupy protests.
And gives a real feeling of sticking a middle finger up at
the man, and authority, basically.
KRISHNA: I know.
I hear that.
But I'm freezing my ass off.
So, let's go warm up, alright?
CHRIS: Yeah, definitely.

KRISHNA: Our next and final stop is Jamaica.
Mini wants us to rock a convertible there, so they're
giving us the roadster.
And they've asked us to turn the coupe into a micronation.

OFFSCREEN VOICE: That was the shot.