Nikolina also said that, if necessary, the Republic of Vevčani could again become a serious entity in the future. “This is a very political village,” she said. “Our village always comes first. If we held another referendum in the future, I think it would be possible for the village to be independent and stay successful.”
After lunch, Velkoska took me for a sneak peek inside Vevčani’s new museum, which is set to open later this year. Inside, political artworks depicted the Vevčani Emergency and the Republic of Vevčani, alongside a photographic exhibition devoted to Vevčani’s centuries-old carnival. Interestingly, she said, the carnival is effectively a centuries-old satire, because satire is what Vevčani does best. Like its self-appointed micronation status, it’s a way for Vevčani to mock the authorities, and many of the costumes and masks are politically charged, parodying the government or ridiculing recent political events.
Before I caught the bus back to Lake Ohrid, I asked Velkoska whether she thought the Republic of Vevčani was serious or satirical. “Vevčani still has its disagreements with the government,” she said. “But we are too small to be independent. We would have a weak economy. It’s a nice idea, but right now it’s only for fun”.
Places That Don’t Belong is a BBC Travel series that delves into the playful side of geography, taking you through the history and identity of geo-political anomalies and places along the way.
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