Passport and Nobels

Originally published at:

My life-long work of performance art is to somehow maintain my original passport: notwithstanding the life and opportunities of a techno-nomad.


Dunno how that works in your country. In mine, passports expire - and furthermore, there are limited pages - so if you are a traveller you wind up filling them up - so maintaining your original passport is simply impossible.

1 Like

This is, hands down, the best thing I’ve ever read at BoingBoing – and it’s a writer’s home for other writers as well.


US passports expire, fill up, and have to be replaced. Generally you can keep the old ones, though, so I still have the visas and border crossings in mine (one for the 80s, one for ~1996-2006, one shiny new. – different eras in my life and career.)


People admire this “Nobel Prize,”

Except maybe Peter Handke, who famously denounced the Nobel as rubbish…right up until he won it.

Handke is a great writer, not only in the sense of being great fodder for literature professors but in the sense of being fun to read (or watch, in the case of the collaborations with Wim Wenders), but you can’t respect his judgment in his outspoken support for Slobodan Milošević.

1 Like

Many countries will let you add pages or even let you get a “frequent traveler” passport with extra pages for an additional fee.

In the US you can get extra pages added when you’re going to run out. You also get to keep your old passport after it expires (it just gets a hole punched through it to invalidate it).

1 Like

There’s always the NSK!


I admit I’m still feeling uneasy about this. I realise that this is the a point of the whole Neue Slowenische Kunst Ästhetik, but I still have strong negative feelings about anything trying to use the time of the Drittes Reich for any purpose of their own.

Even if it’s a good cause, or good art.

But then, I do not want to feel any other way, and for good reasons, like: having had people live through the Nazi era on the wrong side of history.


Fair enough. You’re not the only one, and it’s sort of the point, the discomfort.

When they started out, it was 1980, Tito was dead by a few months, and they were drawing associations with the nazis and the Yugoslavian government… in the coming years, they’d draw direct associations with the rise of nationalism and the nazis and given the acts of genocide in the Bosnian war, they weren’t wrong.

Agreed. I don’t feel “good” about the parallels to nazism, but I do feel like being uncomfortable with their constant juxtaposition is very helpful in keeping these things in our consciousness is helpful. The fact that we’re seeing the rise of fascism again is in part because people forget what it is and what it means. Having these conversations can help remind us why we should actively rejection fascism in the first place, and a good reminder that it comes in many different forms, not just the obvious one.


Unlike the British, we don’t fuss about what color the passports are

Which reminds me, I need to renew mine so I get to keep a red one, even if it won’t say “European Citizen” on it any more :frowning:

1 Like

Handke is a great writer and an awful human being, a combination that’s all too common I fear.


I understand your argument, and still am profundly unsure if using some of the aesthetic and possibly language of the Drittes Reich can help with keeping the memory alive.

Over on the other topic I started reading the Harper’s piece about anti-war films. It certainly works for people who are in several ways reflecting what they see and hear. But it arguably also doesn’t for the rest. Which would be the point, as I presume you agree? As soon as many - not some - are unmoved and not pushed to question their own beliefs ( e.g. of being “over” Nazism), the whole process of challenging the perception through art (or at least aesthetics) turns on it’s head and perpetuates the problem.
However, while I feel uneasy about NSK and the likes, I also feel like turning up with a car fire extinguisher to a Rammstein concert and telling people that not only that that kind of aesthetics are derived from Nazi propaganda but also they should not try to do such pyro at home.

Since we had similar exchanges in the past we both know what to expect. I hope some readers and lurkers have their own thoughts towards the matter. In the current case, about their own identity, and about nationalism, the possibly most successful ideology in the world.


I think that’s completely fair, too. There is a real reason why Laibach/NSK remains controversial, while many other bands from their era are seemingly humdrum.

As for Rammstein… I’ve found their thing far less compelling/thoughtful than Laibach/NSK. To it comes off as if they are trying the same thing, and just haven’t been to walk that fine line successfully. Laibach manages to hit at just the right sweet spot for me and maybe part of the reason for that is that they’re not themselves German, but come from a country that was occupied by Germany during the war?

I agree. I like to see the sorts of conversations that this can generate.


Compared to Rammstein, which I distractingly brought up, Laibach seem much more reflected themselves. Intellectually, from my unqualified POV, they don’t even play in the same league.


I think that you missed the point. She isn’t talking about using her first passport forever. She’s talking about not giving up her passport… in order to take on another one.

She talks about the country itself changing, but not leaving the country’s passport behind. Obviously, it’s not a Yugoslavian passport any more, but she didn’t trade that in for an Austrian one or a Russian one or an American one. She kept the same permanent address in Belgrade and let the definition of citizenship change around her, even as she moved through the world far away from that address and the land of her citizenship.

Despite being a refugee – literally and in other more subtle ways – she still holds on to the land of her birth through the passport attached to that space.


Oh - not a literal passport? I didn’t read the article - just responded to the top of page lede, which I mistook for a post. I have a bunch of passports, all from the same country. They seem to have gotten smaller and more expensive over the years. Some had to be replaced because they were full, others simply expired. I don’t know why I keep them but they don’t take up much room so sentiment prevails.

This is a more common phenomenon than many of us appreciate. I live in New Mexico, and there are both printed and oral stories of the day almost 200 years ago when people here went to sleep in Mexico as Mexican citizens and woke up the next in the Territory as American citizens [1]. That particular experience even turned into one of the more popular “American Girl” dolls-with-histories.

The memory slowly fades, for good or ill, but it’s noteworthy how it’s gotten this far.

[1] A condition of the treaty was that this would happen – no “resident aliens.” Also that the prevailing languages (in particular Spanish, but also by implication native ones as well) would be retained. Worth remembering today, isn’t it?


It is always wonderful to hear from Jasmina and I hope you are seen in BoingBoing and other American outlets more often. Be Well, and be heard!

We are moments away from tens of millions of people waking up to learn that they have been stripped of their EU citizenship.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.