Stateless on purpose – an interview with Mike Gogulski

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Issue 1 of Le monde n’est pas rond includes an interview with Mike Gogulski, a former US citizen, now living in Bratislava (Slovakia), who chose to become stateless on purpose.

Gogulski was interviewed by Dutch journalists Els Duran & Evelien Vehof, as part of their long-term project Citizens of Nowhere. The English translation of their article is by Raïssa Budde.

In 1997, Mike realised for the first time that he wanted to leave the US. “I was planning to emigrate, to ask for a different nationality and then give up my American citizenship. When in 2003 the US invaded Iraq for the first time, I was sure: I wanted to break myself free from the American nation in every possible way. I wanted to lose my citizenship, regardless of whether or not I would get citizenship in a different country.”

Mike investigated the procedures and laws surrounding nationality. He decided after a trip through Europe not to go back to the US, and settled in Slovakia. In the US it would have simply been impossible to give up his citizenshop. “With all the filled out papers under my arm, I went to the US embassy here in Bratislava. They of course asked me whether I was sure of my decision, and tested to see that I wasn’t crazy, or under the influence. I came through all of the tests fine, luckily.” Two weeks after this, Mike received a certificate that said he was no longer an American citizen, together with his blacklisted passport.

Mike Gogulski blogs at nostate.com, and is a collaborative author (and systems administrator) of the Centre for a Stateless Society. In the second half of the Russia Today feature below (15.4.13), Gogulski elaborates on his reasons for giving up his US citizenship, and on what it means to become effectively stateless:

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About antoinecassar

Poet, translator, editor, activist http://antoinecassar.info http://passaportproject.org http://mondepasrond.org
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