I have to admit I hadn’t heard of #OBR until about a week ago when I saw some tweets about it from a few Second Life residents I follow. If like me you were unaware of it OBR is a global movement to end rape and sexual violence against women. You can find out more here on Wikipedia.
OBR is marked on 14 February every year in Second Life, and you can find more about the event at onebillionrisingsl.wordpress.com. It consists of a big music event and lots of art installations and exhibits – each on the theme of unity against all forms of violence against women.
Here’s what the official website said about this year’s event:
The Second Life event will feature a four-region stage where 200 people can come together to dance, surrounded by an area of art installations, arenas for poetry, live music, and dance and dramatic productions, and informational exhibits. A variety of performers will play over the 24-hour period and poetry and dance events will be held at different times, enabling people all over the world to attend this virtual event no matter their timezone.
I was busy with real life stuff during the day but made it down for half an hour very late in the evening along with Abby. Most the the music had finished but there were still plenty of people dancing to some live music at one of the main arenas.
I don’t know how long the regions will exist for (I can’t get into SL today to check) but here is the SLurl: maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/OBR%20Rise/166/236/24
On Friday (15th) in the evening I had a few hours on my own in Second Life so went back and tried have a good look at as many of the art installations as I could. I found lots of what I saw to be beautiful, thought-provoking and also very moving.
I took quite a few photos and you can see them here on Flickr.
I wanted to also share a few favourites here. I’m afraid I didn’t note down the artists’ names or the titles of the work where they were given… A lot of them didn’t seem to be named at all, so please forgive the lack of artist credits provided here.
One Billion Rising…
One of the most poignant areas was the #MeToo Garden. As I stepped off the main path into that area I saw a cave entrance and instinctively walked in. I found myself in a winding tunnel. I worked my way along the tunnel for a few moments until I stepped into the main cavern. It was beautiful.
I passed a woman near the entrance to the main chamber and said Hello. She was wearing one of the official OBR 2019 t-shirts. After exploring for a moment I told her that I thought it was beautiful, and mentioned that I was taking some photos. She kindly offered to get out of the way.
I asked her about the cave and she told me it was her creation. (Unfortunately I spoke to her in Nearby chat and I don’t have the chat log to find her name.)
She told me she didn’t want to prescribe meaning to others but, as I had asked, she told me that it represented to her a safe place that she had needed to go to at some times in her life. And that the sharp edges represented violence and pain, and the warm colours represented the happiness and magic in her life.
While arguably this cave was not the most visually iconic or sophisticated piece of art at OBR 2019, for me it was the most memorable. Standing in the middle of her creation the woman’s words moved me to tears. I think most of us can relate to that happy place in one way or another, and for me in some ways, and at some times, Second Life itself represents exactly that.
I am sorry I don’t have a name to credit the work to!