“I am not sedentary and I am not itinerant. My home is a heterotopia with a thousand imaginary landscapes… The island is the buffer zone between the places of the outside world. Those that exclude one another outside meet here. Those that are at war with one another outside negotiate here. Those that steal from one another outside trade here.”

—Simone, 38, resident of the island for three years

Seventy years ago, the small island nation of Lavapolis was founded. It began as an alternative, a gambling destination to rival Las Vegas, and became a model for a new way of living. With its principle of universal solidarity, the nation counters the pitfalls of contemporary global society. It is an ever-shifting utopia; a volcano jutting out of the Mediterranean Sea; an extension of the open frontier. The biographies of its inhabitants are integral to the whole. If the world backs down from the challenges of Lavapolis, the island is destined to erupt.

Michael Schindhelm: Lavapolis
Sternberg Press, circa 200 pages
Release Date 07/2014


More than a book, “Lavapolis” also served as a starting point for the transmedia storytelling project “Friday in Venice”: Launched at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in May 2014, “Friday in Venice” was, among others, on stage at the Venice Biennale 2014. Furthermore, you can experience the story of “Lavapolis” at !