Archive for the ‘Campaign!’ Category

A Petrovsky Flux

A Petrovsky Flux

  A Petrovsky Flux is gorgeous and the work of two great artists – Cutea Benelli and blotto Epsilon.  Definitely one of the highlights of Second Life.

I love Cutea’s work and own many of her weird and wonderful creations. I wore one of her spooky dresses recently in a short film I made (as part of an ongoing film course). I particularly love the way she combined elegance with … skulls. It’s very Cutea.

I’m delighted that A Petrovsky Flux provides a platform for her work (and I hope that people who see it will also go on to explore – and shop from – the remarkable emporium that is Grim Bros.

A Petrovsky Flux

A Petrovsky Flux

Ziki Questi has written about the sim before, and has revisited it recently, and shares the sad news that it may be about to close very shortly. Do read her posts – she highlights some of the cool things you can do there.

However …

It’s harsh but true. Linden Lab are our platform providers, not our archivists. They cannot save every sim that has outstanding beauty or artistic interest. If A Petrovsky Flux is to be saved, then, if the University of Kansas needs to step back, it must be the community who judges it worth saving – and pays to sponsor it.

A Petrovsky Flux

A Petrovsky Flux

It would not be impossible for a group of concerned residents to form a trust, perhaps each paying 5 dollars a month towards the cost of the sim. Or donating an article to be sold on Marketplace in support of the sim. Or organising an event once a month that would raise money towards keeping the sim going.

Keeping sims like A Petrovsky Flux alive is NOT Linden Lab’s’ responsibility. It is ours.

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The Stage at One Billion Rising

The Stage at One Billion Rising

Today is the last chance to visit the One Billion Rising regions and see the art installations, the fabulous stage created by Victor1st Mornington and the beautiful gardens and landscaping created by Aisling Sinclair.

Everything will be taken down today, ready to return the islands tomorrow morning – but we’ll be closing with a take down party! Join us on OBR Dance! (or Rise, Release or Justice!).

Looking towards the Meditation Park - landscaped by Aisling Sinclair

Looking towards the Meditation Park – landscaped by Aisling Sinclair

The party starts at 2pm with Victor1st Mornington as DJ. At 4pm, Samm Quendra will be singing live … and then we will close out the event after that.

Don’t miss it!

One Billion Rising Stage at night

One Billion Rising Stage at night

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Mikati Slade's installation, the Stage (by Victor Mornington) and landscaping (by Aisling Sinclair)

One Billion Rising

Today’s post shows Mikati Slade’s fun build at One Billion Rising, with the stage built by Victor1st Mornington. All around is the landscaping by Aisling Sinclair, which created a glorious background to the whole event.

Today is takedown day, although most installations are still in pleace. We’ll be having a take down party from 2pm – 5pm today (Sunday 16th February) so do come and join us at OBR Dance! (or Rise, Release or Justice!).

But before you come to the party – enjoy the jigsaw!

Click to Mix and Solve

Mikati Slade’s installation, the Stage (by Victor Mornington) and landscaping (by Aisling Sinclair)

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Information at Prime Furniture!

Information at Prime Furniture!

More information about One Billion Rising for Justice in Second Life is becoming available across the grid – including landmarks for the regions, and information about the music, art and poetry events – as well as the information kiosks.

Sponsors and supporters of the event are receiving information packs (and special display bears, created by Sway Dench) which they can set out in their stores and organisations – like the one at PRIME Furniture in the illustration.

If you would like an information pack to put out at your store or organisation, or an information card to send to your group, contact Saffia Widdershins inworld or email primperfect@gmail.com

One Billion Rising Gifts

One Billion Rising Gifts

In addition, there are gift packs with information notecards and landmarks as well as the OBR teeshirts for men (created by Style by Kira) and women (created by Liv-Glam) and the One Billion Rising bears available at the following locations:

Prim Perfect Offices in the Seychelles
Prim Perfect Offices in Second Life Norway
Designing Worlds Studios in Garden of Dreams
The Daily Prim in Seraph City
The Primgraph in Caledon Morgaine
Avalon Town

So make sure you get all the information – and the gifts – to get ready to join the fantastic event this Friday of One Billion Rising for Justice in Second Life!

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One Billion Rising Artists Flyer

One Billion Rising Artists Flyer

One Billion Rising is an event designed to celebrate, to challenge and to inform – and the amazing art installations we have this year will do all of that!

The creation of art is based upon some spark of inspiration. We have gathered together some of Second Life’s amazing artists and asked them to create with the inspiration of Justice, Rise, Dance, Release. All these words relate to the idea that together we can help stop violence against women. The works you will see range from 2D to 3D. Some depict ways women are being abused and others depict the celebration of rising above it all. See how they will inspire you.

You will find these installations on all four sims. There are individual installations, a sculpture garden and a picture gallery. Join us – and explore. The sims will open at 11pm SLT on Thursday 13th February, and will stay open for an extra twenty-four hours (until midnight on Saturday 15th February) to allow you to continue to explore.

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OBR-Logo-2014The Music Schedule for One Billion Rising is now available on the website. A last few places remain, and we are talking to people about filling these slots.

Over the next few days, we’ll be publishing details of the DJs and Live Artists, as well as details of the Art Installations and Poetry Events too.

Once again, we are very grateful to Jan Juergens of Lusch Audio for providing the music streams for this event!

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Over the next few days, we’ll be launching a special OBR goodie box with information and also treats for One Billion Rising!

Meet the OBR bears!

Meet the OBR bears!

And one of these treats is the very special One Billion Rising Bear, created by Sway Dench of Sway’s, which Saffia is holding in the picture. Look out for the bear’s big sister too (seen next to Saffia) – when you find it in our sponsors’ stores, there will be more information about One Billion Rising for Justice in Second Life!

There will also be gifts donated by our friends and sponsors at the One Billion Rising event itself.

Can you help us out on 14th February? There’s still time to volunteer – and a form to do it on!

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Designing Worlds’ two recent shows are now available on the web.

In Part 1, we we are joined by Jilly Kidd, of the writer’s group Written Word, Chic Aeon, artist, machinimatographer, builder (past tense), blogger, store owner and curator of LEA7 – the Machinima Open Studio Project; Ramses Meredith, owner of the leading fashion brand Egoisme; Cain Maven, designer and owner of Maven Homes and Quantum Luxury Homes; Kylie Skyborne, Council Facilitator and Press for UCCSL & Curator for the Rose Theatre Galleries; and Jamie Bryce Infinity, a technology lawyer who started on Wall Street and now is the general counsel of an internet standards organization – in Second Life, he has served on the SL Bar Association board of directors, and has been involved in a number of virtual world intellectual property and privacy disputes. They outline the problems that are caused by the changes for different communities.

In the second part of this show, we see a presentation by Agenda Faromet of the Second Life Bar Association, who compares different Terms of Service before looking in detail at the Lab changes. What she has to say may surprise you!

Then in Part 2, we discuss questions that have arisen from the issue – and questions asked by our live audience with the aid of our panel.

Designing Worlds Terms of Service show Part 2

Designing Worlds Terms of Service show Part 2

It all makes for a fascinating and timely show!

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OBR in SL - What Next?

OBR in SL – What Next?

The One Billion Rising event was an inspiration for people all around the world. Here in Second Life, the event was a success – both for those taking part, and for the discussion that followed.

Now we want to build on that – but how? How can we translate the energy and enthusiasm into progress in continuing to work on this issue?

In the real world, different ideas are being discussed.  For example, there’s the Guardian’s campaign to discover inspirational people and projects. Stella Creasy, the Member of the UK Parliament who made sure that the issue was debated there on V-Day, is pressing forward with the campaign  to ensure that every child in Britain is taught about consent and respecta campaign with cross party support. And requests are being made for submissions for a planned documentary.

And in Second Life too, people are asking how the campaign can be moved forward.

Yellow Hibiscus at Virtual Ability

Yellow Hibiscus at Virtual Ability

We have some ideas – but we want to hear your thoughts too! So come along to one of two open discussion at the Yellow Hibiscus Cabana, Virtual Ability Island
FRIDAY March 1st at 1pm SLT
SATURDAY March 2nd at 4pm SLT

Come and share your thoughts on what should come next.

Discussion in text as much as possible, with optional voicing of Local chat, and voice-to-text transcription for those who need it.

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There have been several charges levelled against the One Billion Rising in Second Life. One was that it was invalidated by its refusal to address the issue of violence against men.  Or indeed, the issue of all violence everywhere.  So often was this repeated that in the end I actually wrote a post about it – which you can read here.

A second charge that was made against the event (in Second Life and in the real world) was that it was in some way invalidated by the fact that it was organised and attended by middle class women.  Several commentators made this point – including one who, in addition to stigmatising the protest as “middle class” felt the need to stress that they had working class parents.

Middle class women in Mayfair?

Middle class women in Mayfair?

Here I want to stress my perspective as a Brit so there shouldn’t be mis-interpretation.  For me, “middle class” is a term that refers to white collar, professional workers. It covers a wide range of trades and professions – ranging from company directors to shopkeepers, from university professors to office workers at management level.  It’s the widest class in the UK – the upper classes are a smaller part of the system, generally being seen as people who have inherited land and/or titles.  A company director, no matter how wealthy, would not be seen as part of this class – although he or she could marry into it.  The situation might be different in the US.

In the UK, the working class would be seen as people who work primarily in junior positions, manually (or jobs where manual labour is a core component).  It would also largely include the non-working population who are claiming state benefits – although some of those might generally be seen as unemployed middle class.  Again, this might be different in the US.

The middle class is the largest class in the UK at present.  In previous times, the working class has been larger proportionately; one of Margaret Thatcher’s ambitions was to ensure that as many people as possible should identify themselves as middle class, and therefore aimed at raising living standards and matching aspirations, with the intention that the new middle classes, their aspirations to – for example – own their own home, should then vote for her party, the Conservative Party. For about a decade, this strategy was highly successful.

Ironically, despite the fact that so many people aspire to join the middle class or would classify themselves as middle class, the name itself is frequently denigrated or used pejoratively – as it has been in discussions of One Billion Rising.

And I believe this is wrong in this context – for four reasons.

1) This event wasn’t just for middle class Westerners
Of the many, many exciting aspects of this event, one of the most exciting was its global nature. The Guardian newspaper live-blogged it, and reported what happened in the UK, the Democratic Republic of Congo, across the US, in Egypt, Ethiopia, Australia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, India, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Germany, Albania, the Netherlands, Somalia, Israel, Hong Kong, Nepal, Iceland, Turkey, the Maldives, Italy, Poland, Indonesia and … oh yes, they featured an event in Second Life too.

This was not just middle class women – although middle class women were involved.  In Albania, for example, one arena featured a centre for Roma women – one of the most disadvantaged communities in Europe.  In some countries, where dancing is seen as shocking, women marched or watched films, or talked.  In some countries where dancing is frowned upon, women danced in their own spaces – Virtual Evangelical referred to having seen it on a Saudi Arabian blog. In Bangladesh, at least 1,000 acid attack survivors were planning to take  part in rallies across the country.

It goes without saying that there are middle and even upper class women taking part in all these events.  But they are reaching wider. Women of all classes are joining in, from the Queen of Bhutan to Indian street vendors.

Someone made the point on a blog that it would probably be more useful if women spent a week reading the newspapers than dancing.  But that presupposes a free press. It presupposes that women have access to newspapers, and the means to purchase them and that – once they do have them – they know how to read. The idea of dancing was chosen, in part, because it is a simple, low cost activity that is easily understood.

2) Violence against women affects middle class women too
This really should go without saying, but the abuse that women face crosses class boundaries. Middle class women are beaten up and raped too.

3) You shouldn’t limit protests to the people affected
This is actually a more general point – because, as I said above, middle class women ARE affected by the issue.  But even if they weren’t, even if no single middle class woman was sexually or physically abused, I believe passionately that it would still be right for middle class women to protest in support of their sisters – just as we welcomed men into One Billion Rising.

Because, if you impose that limitation, you are saying that unless you have experience female genital mutilation, you can’t protest on behalf of your sisters.  You are saying that unless you have been through the hell of a forced marriage, or an acid attack, you have no right to stand up and say, “This is wrong. This must stop.”

And if you start to slice and dice in that way, you are left with one terrified girl cowering in the corner of a room … because her experience is unique and, if you have not been through it, you have no right to protest about it.

And that is so very clearly wrong.

Middle class women dancing in the tropics?

Middle class women dancing in the tropics?

4) The middle class – and middle class women particularly – are routinely stigmatised in a attempt to silence them
And other women should not be a part of doing this.

It is an age-old problem that where we should be uniting, women attack other women. They negate what women are doing. They belittle it.  This happens for a variety of reasons, many more complex than the one that is usually cited – that these women want to curry favour with men. I think we do see that, even in an internet age (the appalling attacks on Kathy Sierra involved other women, for example).

But to assume that is the case in every instance is wrong.  There’s a space for valid criticism and a space for valid critiquing, and that is important – indeed, essential.

But the use of stigmatising terms does not foster debate.  It promotes the skewed disparity in language that consistently sees words that reference women acquiring a lower value than words that describe men.

Don’t believe me? Run these pairs through your head and remember, once they were completely matched as a term for a male – a term for a female:
Sir – Madam
Master – Mistress
King – Queen
Bachelor – Spinster
Courtier – Courtesan
In every case, the female pair of the word has either become less of an honorific than the male term, or has acquired a secondary meaning that can be used pejoratively.

In the same way, “middle class” has become a pejorative term, occupying the space once held by “do-gooder”.  It implies people who, through economic stability, are out of touch with the “real world”.  It suggests that these people are patronising and (frequently) domineering, attempting to impose their own world view on others.

And yet …

If one looks at social history, it has frequently been middle class women who have brought about great social change in the world. In times when working class women had little leisure time to give to things such as protests and social change, it was middle class women who were in the vanguard with the male social reformers – from Hannah Moore to Elizabeth Fry to Florence Nightingale to Josephine Butler to Octavia Hill to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson to Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters. And that’s just Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the best known women.

There were, of course, far many more nameless middle class women involved in campaigns – sometimes as decorous as the slave sugar boycott. led (in Sheffield) by Mary Anne Rawson – but rapidly spreading across the country. Arguably the first political boycott of its time, the refusal of British consumers to be slave-produced sugar played a significant role in the ending of the slave trade in 1833.

Sometimes the campaigns were rather more dangerous.  Josephine Butler had to escape through the window of a hall where she was speaking to avoid an angry mob on at least one occasion. And one thinks too of the bravery of those women who campaigned for Prohibition. Nowadays we might find their campaign wrong-headed, but there’s no doubting the courage of those women who marched into beer halls and fin joints and knelt down and prayed.

The stigmatising of middle class protest has continued into the twentieth century too – it was one of the charges levelled at the women of Greenham Common and their protests against the nuclear weapons sited there, suggesting that their protest was, in effect, a “fashion statement” and that they would, soon enough clear off to their nice warm houses.

Well, the women have gone now, So too have the missiles.

And conditions in prisons, housing, medicine and nursing have all improved. The slave trade is long gone in the UK, women are not licensed and bullied as prostitutes, and women have had the vote for nearly a hundred years.

Thanks, in part, to the efforts of middle class women.

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