Today marks seven years since we first put our needle onto Google Maps, thereby laying the foundation to the art and culture project of Lorenzburg. Since its inception, the project has carried through several culture events, among others: performances, referendums to name landmarks in the area, as well as other social events like celebrating Saint Arnulf – the patron saint of beer – in the area’s very own little hotel Gustaf Fröding!
As project manager and Prince of Lorenzburg I’ve had the wonderful privilege to meet new acquaintances in the city districts of Kroppkärr and Lorensberg. This has meant lovely encounters and interesting conversations about democracy, culture and, not least, the importance to continue living with playfulness and wonder even after a few wrinkles or grey hairs have appeared. I carry all these encounters close to my heart wherever I go.
In their capacity of being a contemporary fairy tale nation, the districts Kroppkärr and Lorensberg have been represented, both within Sweden and abroad, at various conferences and symposia on artistic research since 2017. We have, for example, re/presented Lorenzburg in Saxnäs/ Sápmi, Riga/Latvia, Vilnius/Lithuania and Plymouth/UK. These occasions have allowed artists, researchers and philosophers from all around the world to be charmed by the micronation of Lorenzburg through stories and images from the area.
The pandemic of 2020 and 2021 has meant a great challenge for our society. Art, culture and human interaction have had to be put on hold and, of course, this has also affected the daily life and activities in Lorenzburg. As a Prince and artist I lament the situation – that the Lorenzburg project hasn’t been able to carry out any activities – but I re-confirm my continued engagement in the area, and the commitment to continue to carry out a culture project that aims to spark joy as well as to offer opportunities for play. We shall return with renewed strength in 2022!
Lastly, I wish to thank the citizens, colleagues, partners and any allies to our little fairy tale nation in the heart of Scandinavia. In difficult times I always remind myself of the meaning of the symbols of our flag the Oriflamme. The crowned pea that we borrowed from the story of the Princess and the Pea remind us that not only Kings (or Princes for that matter), Presidents and Prime Ministers have the power to be agents of change. Sometimes it’s actually the small things – peas, children or micronations – that have the true potential to be the instruments of hope and renewal!
With hope to see you soon,
H.S.H. Prince Frei
P.s. If you need some hope you can make your own little Oriflamme to drive away the shadows. You’ll find the guide on how to make a paper flag here: Make a paper handflag!