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Nutopia

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Nutopia is a conceptual country created by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on April Fool's Day 1973 at a press conference in New York City.[1]. This country (or nation) was supposed to live up to the standards set by John Lennon's song "Imagine".

The Lennons were ambassadors of the country and sought (creatively, though unsuccessfully) diplomatic immunity to end Lennon's ongoing immigration troubles, as he and Ono tried to remain in the United States. (Ono already had a "green card" through her previous husband, Tony Cox. Lennon had been denied permanent residence status.) John talked about the imaginary country, which would live up to the ideals of his song "Imagine", saying this in the "official" declaration:

We announce the birth of a conceptual country, NUTOPIA. Citizenship of the country can be obtained by declaration of your awareness of NUTOPIA. NUTOPIA has no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people. NUTOPIA has no laws other than cosmic. All people of NUTOPIA are ambassadors of the country. As two ambassadors of NUTOPIA, we ask for diplomatic immunity and recognition in the United Nations of our country and its people.[2]

The flag of Nutopia has only one colour: white. Some criticised this association with surrender, but Lennon and Ono defended that association, saying that only through surrender and compromise can peace be achieved. U2 later adopted the Nutopian flag as a part of their live performance of the political songs from their third album, War, an example of this can be seen on the video version of U2's live album Under a Blood Red Sky, during the famous performance of their song "Sunday Bloody Sunday", which, interestingly, shares the same title as a song from Lennon's album Some Time in New York City.

The seal of Nutopia is a picture of the marine animal of the same name, a seal.

A plaque engraved with the words "NUTOPIAN EMBASSY" was duly installed at their home at the Dakota. Yoko remarked that guests in her home prefer walking through that door instead of the front entrance, saying the kitchen door is the new front door.

Ono indicated that the lyrical content of "Imagine" was "just what John believed—that we are all one country, one world, one people. He wanted to get that idea out." In addition, the content of "Imagine" was inspiration for the concept of Nutopia: The Country of Peace, created in 1973. Lennon included a symbolically mute "anthem" to this country on his album Mind Games. Also, inspiration for Yoko's Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland came from words in the second verse: Imagine all the people living life in peace.

In 2006, a Nutopia website was created that forwards to a site about the documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon, distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment.[3][4]

References Edit

  1. Toy, Vivian S. "A Brush With a Beatle," New York Times. March 7, 2010.
  2. DECLARATION OF NUTOPIA - 1 April 1973 at ImaginePeace.com.
  3. Nutopia website
  4. Lions Gate tunes in Lennon documentary, Daily Variety, 2 September 2005.

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