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Free Republic of Alcatraz 2009 (Micronation)

Last modified: 2020-11-13 by rob raeside
Keywords: italy | free republic of alcatraz 2009 | micronation |
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image by Olivier Touzeau, 29 October 2020
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On 25th of July 2009, the Free Republic of Alcatraz was founded in Italy; its claimed territory is made of 1.235,53 acres of wood and olive trees between Gubbio and Perugia, in Umbria. The Free Republic of Alcatraz (Libera Repubblica di Alcatraz) is “a poetic nation, based on word of honor and mutual respect”, according to the founder and leader Jacopo Fo.

Jacopo Fo (born 1955) is an Italian writer-actor and director. He is the son of playwrights Franca Rame and Dario Fo (1997 Nobel Prize in Literature). In 1981, he founded the Free University of Alcatraz, a center for comic therapy and alternative culture, with an organic restaurant, on the Umbrian hills and began teaching demented Yoga. Many of his editorial initiatives will arise from this work of "psychophysical counter-information". Various training activities took place here, from theater to the installation of solar panels. In recent decades, the Free University of Alcatraz association has been involved in spreading the culture of peace, art and ecology in various sectors. The core of the association's philosophy is the culture of laughter. Since 1987 the free university of Alcatraz has been engaged in an information campaign on sweet birth. In 1997 and 1998 two major conferences of clown-doctors and social workers were held in Alcatraz in which Patch Adams, Miloud and Madan Kataria (yoga of laughter) took part in front of 250 students. These conferences give great impetus to the spread of medical clowns in Italian hospitals.

Alcatraz organizes hundreds of courses with tens of thousands of students. These include those of writing with Dacia Maraini and Stefano Benni, those of comics with Andrea Pazienza, Vincino, Angese, Milo Manara and Liberatore, those of theater with Dario Fo, Franca Rame and Mario Pirovano. The didactic activity is also developed by hosting thousands of students of lower and upper secondary schools with special didactic paths that combine the knowledge of nature and the body with the sense of the comic.

The Free University has also organized activities aimed at social groups in difficulty such as drug addicts. There have also been many initiatives aimed at people with mental and physical handicaps, such as (since 1985) the experimentation on the effects of hippotherapy. Another sector of initiative is aimed at the world of work with motivational and communication courses for entrepreneurs, managers, etc. For years, together with Eleonora Albanese, his wife, and with the contribution of other artists, Jacopo Fo has been creating a park with large painted statues. As part of the Free University of Alcatraz project, Jacopo Fo conceived, in collaboration with the female Toponymy association, of a pathwalk about 1500 m long in which to preserve the memory of 40 women who deserve the title of Righteous.

In 2009, was established the Free Republic of Alcatraz, founded in reaction to politics in Italy, then governed by Silvio Berlusconi. The Free Republic of Alcatraz has ecological aims. It reduced its energy consumptions so that the energy produced is more than the used one, and has a zero-waste policy. Alcatraz has its own coins (the Talent), stamps and passports, vegetable plots, its own information channels...

PoliNation 2015, a gathering of micronations, took place in the Free Republic of Alcatraz between 4–5 July 2015.

The colourful flag of Alcatraz is flying on the territory of the micronation. It can be seen for example reproduced here with the constitution of the Republic:

I took a photograph of the flag in situ in July 2015
Olivier Touzeau, 29 October 2020