Wednesday, December 10, 2008
SL Human Rights Festival (and a small gripe)
I received this card a couple days ago out of the blue:
"The 60th Anniversay of the Declaration of Universal Rights is being celebrated by a huge festival in Second Life. More than 60 concerts mark the 60 years and the talents of 100 artists and musicians are part of the celebration. More than 30 sims reflect the 30 articles of the UN Convention.
The festival is the first time a themed programme of events on this scale in Second Life has aimed at raising real life issues. It draws on the talents of artists, musicians and campaigners from many different countries including Argentina, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. Some well know SL musicians are headlining the festival including:
AYDEN KRUH - CYLINDRIAN RUTABAGA - JAYNINE SCARBOROUGH - ZAPHOD THEAS - JUNIVERS STOCKHOLM - LONNIE NIGHTFIRE - RUSSELL EPONYM - NAPHTALI HAWKS - AYDEN KRUH - MAXIMILLION KLEENE - FREESTAR TAMMAS - LOUIS VOLARE LANDON - KOMUSO TOKUGAWA - THUMPER BOUCHER - RARA DESTINY - JANO RUNO - BLAIR BONDE - TJ OANONOUCHI - OHMY KIDD - MIA MAXSTED - VIENNA JAMES - KITZIE LANE - PILLOWFISH - VIRTUAL LIVE BAND etc etc
Artists whose work will be displayed include:
AURAKYO INSOO - ARTISTIDE DESPRES - AM RADIO - EERCHECK HICKS - ELFOD NEMETH - VELAZQUEZ BONETTO - UB YUFI - CHEEN PITNEY - FILTHY FLUNO- TOOTER CLAXTON - IZIKAEL NOVI - JOSINA BURGESS - THOTH JANTZEN - SALIANT INFINITY - NONNY WRITER - VALJEAN ANSAR etc etc
There will also be talks from Ghana, Switzerland, Poland and the UK, poetry slams and stand up comedy.
The UN Convention sets out the universal rights of all humanity. However as well as a celebration, the festival is also designed to raise rights that are breached - the right to free speech, a fair trial, shelter, rights of women and children to be free from violence etc.
The opening of the Festival includes a live interview from Paris with Draxtor Despres (Bernard Drax). He has just been awarded a Every Human has Rights Award for his machinima on the Guantanemo Bay build Gone Gitmo by Nonny Writer and Ping Rau explained " Virtual Gitmo is the prime example how an immersive environment, which has the power to collapse geographies and enable communcation in real time across cultural boundaries, can help people engage in important issues concerning human rights." He will be speaking about the award and plans to bring other awardees to the discussion at Angel's Nest at 8am SLT on 10 December. Then a concert by Jaynine Scarborough will launch the full programme of music with 12 concerts in the festival (including 3 at the Amnesty International sim) and other events around SL.
One of the leaders of the festival, musician Junivers Stockholm, has been appointed one of the musicians for the Amnesty International Small Places Tour (http://www.smallplacestour.info/site/). This is inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt's words "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person... Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." This is the first time Second Life has been the venue for concerted citizen action to highlight human rights across the world.
Junivers and activists Any1 Gynoid and Medora Chevalier explained that they are really excited about the growth and power of the festival plans.
Junivers Stockholm said: "Wow, this is growing! Person to person, network to network - the connections grow and we'll build on them to back actions for humanity now and in the future."
Any1 Gynoid said: " We have an awesome array of SL's finest talents backing the festival. Everyone says yes, they want to stand up for human rights. This is going to be a festival to remember! Woot!"
Medora Chevalier said: "There is a new mood of optimism spreading around the world. We no longer need to be divided. We can act and campaign together, as humans caring about humans, sharing solutions, making change happen. The connections made in this world make ripples spread across the world to strengthen human rights."
There are a range of good causes in Second Life associated with the festival. These include Amnesty (featured on 10th), Uthango™ a social enterprise based in South Africa (featured on 11th), Keep Kids Safe/DrivebyAgony (featured on 13th), Peace Train/Twilight's Peace (featured 14th). Many others are featured in the sims visited for concerts or exhibitions during the festival.
The Festival started with an idea at discussions following Carp's the Rings Rock Opera, which raises social justice issues using music and drama. The performance of the Rings on 14th December at NMC Labs will be the last for some time as a break is planned. It has been featured on the popular SLTV programme Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe http://www.slcn.tv/tonight-live-paisley-beebe-3
Festival details are shown in the notecards below; on http://slhumanrightfestival.wordpress.com, on the Festival Travel HUD available at Angel's Nest http://slurl.com/secondlife/Angels%20Nest/128/103/23 and at many many other supporting sims throughout SL.
For more information contact by IM in Second Life Junivers Stockholm, Medora Chevalier or Any1 Gynoid"
Please check out this worthy and important set of events.
That being said, I want to make a small gripe. Had I not heard about this from my friend Jaynine, who is a center of a very large and interesting universe in Second Life, I would not have heard about this at all.
Announced at the opening event I attended today with 36 others (five or so of whom were being interviewed in voice in a rather disorganized chatter and another 10 of whom were organizers) was that there are 60 sims devoted to this event (as opposed to the 30 listed in the card). Holy cow! SIXTY sims!
Did someone not ask the Lindens to take note of this? Where is the promotion for this? I looked on the Second Life blogs, on the New World Notes, on SLNN, on the Herald--nothing. Looked at plurk. Checked twitter. Nothing. Facebook? Nada.
I am sorry to say, but the announcement poster leaves a lot to be desired, which is a shame since there are thousands of worthy graphic artists in SL. And the notecard? It desperately needed an editor.
I can guarantee you, more people know who Miss Virtual World 2009 is than know about this very worthy and ground-breaking event because there were people doing graphics, writing concisely, and promoting Mimmi Boa's ascendancy. Take a lesson from these silly fashionistas, all ye high-minded people. The world of commerce has a lot to teach you.
What irks me is that there was a lot of work put into this. I can only imagine how much time and effort went into creating content for 60 sims. I know some were already done and linked in, but a HUD was made to travel them. That alone is a lot of time. I am sick to think that all this time was spent for only a few hundred or thousand to view it when we are seeing concurrencies of 70,000 now. If no one is there to hear the tree fall, has it fallen?
This points out a huge gap, a difficult gap, in our Second Lives--getting the word out. It's not easy. But it also points out that half of what you need to do in Second Life is not just content production but also getting the word out. Keep it in mind.
Do I have a solution? Nope. This is what I struggle with every day for RFyre. However, I think the organizers could have done a lot more than they have.
So I am doing my small part. My five dear readers, please check it out. Poorly-syntaxed slurl listed above or in the blog you can kind of read about in the graphic (and which is misspelled in the notecard).