The International Observatory on Statelessness

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Welcome to the Observatory on Statelessness

The International Observatory on Statelessness was created in March 2007 as a collaborative project between Oxford Brookes University and the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford to:

  • collate national data on patterns, types and conditions of statelessness to further knowledge;

  • promote research on patterns and causes of statelessness by means of gathering data on the state of nationality and citizenship legislation, systems of protection, and factors that contribute to the problem of statelessness;

  • act as a clearinghouse for NGOs, academics, advocacy groups and policy-makers working on issues of statelessness.

Max Ernst: Apatrides (The Stateless)


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At the beginning of World War II, Ernst, who was living as an exile in France, was imprisoned as a "hostile foreigner" in the internment camp Les Milles, near Aix-en-Provence. Several times he tried to escape. For this frottage, translated as The Stateless, he uses old iron files, the typical tools of escapees. In bitter irony, Ernst presents them as writing tools (the typical tools of intellectuals), which perform a macabre dance.