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3rd Summit of the Microfrancophony in Blaye

In the end, Covid19 did not get the better of the organizers' determination. Following various reports related to the pandemic, the third Summit of the Organization de la Microfrancophonie (OMF) was held in the Principality of Hélianthis on August 27th and 28th, 2022.

Official photo of the third Summit (by Thibaut Plaire)

The Citadel of Blaye—a major historic site in Gironde, France—has seen a parade of Monarchs, Presidents and Micronational Dignitaries before the amazed (and sometimes questioning) eyes of local residents and visiting tourists.

H.S.H. Prince Vincent 1st of Hélianthis made it a point of honor to organize this Summit under the auspices of transparency. While four of the ten micronations present were not members of the OMF, they very quickly found their place through the sharing of common language and values. Each participating micronational entity had its own booth where flags, coats of arms, emblems and documentation were displayed alongside all kinds of their respective pageantries.

HSH Prince Vincent 1st of Hélianthis, host of this 3rd Microfrancophony Summit

Saturday started with the presentations of each entity. Among the members of the OMF featured were: the Empire of Angyalistan; the Principalities of Hélianthis, Bérémagne and Aigues-Mortes; the Republic of Jaïlavera; the Fomoire Institute. Guests from outside the organization included: the Republics of Saugeais and Dibistan; the Grand Duchy of Kuragon; the Duchy of Simerya.

By the day’s end, each of these self-proclaimed countries succeeded—despite their small stature—in sharing their grand stories, unique founding mythologies, and impressive visions forecasted through their individual, herculean projects.

HG Duke Geoffrey Mathes, General Secretary of Microfrancophony

These speeches were punctuated by interventions on themes related to micronationalism. Two of them were led by sympathizers from outside the organization. Indeed, the academician Sandra Petermann shared her scholarly view on the theme in her seminar "Reflection on the Relevance of a Nation within the Nation."

Similarly, Gil Zinck (the author of a university dissertation on micronations) addressed the theme "Micronations and Artistic Forms."

Saturday’s events ended with a visit to the Citadel and part of the old Blaye outside the city walls aboard a small tourist train. The guests were then taken to the Château Marquis de Vauban.

During this beautiful soirée the links between Francophone micronationalists were strengthened and new friendships emerged. The evening ended with a speech by the OMF Secretary General, Duke Geoffrey Mathes, who presented the Molière Prize to Professors Petermann and Zinck for their contributions to the study and popularization of Micronationalism.

H.S.H. Prince Vincent I of Hélianthis presented an honorary certificate to the Republic of Saugeais’s President, Mr. Simon Marguet, "for the relations of friendship and trust that unite the Republic and the Organization."

Sunday was structured around applied themes such as the creation of languages, banknotes and micronational currencies.

Duke Geoffrey Mathes led a workshop entitled “Presenting your Micronation and Your Message Project Effectively.” Working groups were formed to apply a method of presentation and take a step back from the foundations of each micronation. After citing recognized authors and micronational figures such as Robert Ben Madison, Fabrice O’Driscoll and Peter S. Rasmussen, Duke Mathes also proposed his own definition of the term Micronation:

An entity founded by an individual or by a small group of individuals, and which reproduces all or part of the characteristics of a "nation" according to the definition of the United Nations, without being recognized by this international organization or by its state-members. The concept of “nation” (according to the UN) must be understood as a "political community established on a defined territory, and personified by a sovereign authority." In the context of a “micronation,” the “territory” can be conceived as a natural or artificial physical space, as a virtual space or as a quantum space. The notion of sovereignty can sometimes be apprehended in a symbolic or even parodic way, sometimes asserting itself through real independence, secessionist or autonomist claims.

The Summit concluded with the treaty-signings and protocols. While some attendees were soon back on the road, returning to civilian life, a lucky few enjoyed one last excursion under the ttentive supervision of the Prince of Helianthis through the city of Blaye.

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