The Portuguese Way

The Portuguese Way: a model of the lighthouse tower of Farol Cabo Carvoeiro
The Portuguese Way: a model of the lighthouse tower of Farol Cabo Carvoeiro

The Portuguese Way, a collaborative piece by Chagal Campestre, Flor Campestre, Janjii Rugani, Wan Laryukov, Winter Wardhani, is a little different from “the usual” (however you might define that!) exhibitions at the Linden Endowment for the Arts.

Explaining their piece, which opened on September 13th, the team said, “When we decided to present a project to apply for a LEA sim, we thought about doing something different from what we usually see in the LEA sims.

“So we opted to do a realistic sim, depicting RL Portuguese landmarks and at the same time, show our history and culture, hopefully breaking the stereotype that Portugal is all about sun and sea. We called it ‘The Portuguese Way.”

The Portuguese Way: a model of the 25th of April Bridge, one of the world's longest suspension bridges (2.2 km long), with the art centre beyond
The Portuguese Way: a model of the 25th of April Bridge, one of the world’s longest suspension bridges (2.2 km long), with the art centre beyond

Portugal is somewhere I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting. I rather suspect that, like a lot of other people, my view of it amounts to thoughts of Portugal in a modern context – as the team state, a destination for holday goers and of being “the country between Spain and the Atlantic”. It’s very easy to forget that it was once the centre of the longest-lived colonial empire in Europe, lasting some 600 years from the capture of Ceuta, northern Africa in 1415, through until the handover of Macau to China in 1999 (de facto) or the granting of sovereignty to East Timor in 2002 (de jure), depending on one’s point-of-view.

During that time, the empire held territories across what are now 53 different sovereign states, with some 240 million Portuguese speakers (making it the 6th most-spoken language in the world).

The exhibit itself presents a number of famous Portuguese landmarks and historical sites, as well as various rural scenes, in a landscaped environment one can explore in a number of ways – on foot (recommended), via balloon or via teleport links, for example.

The Portuguese Way
The Portuguese Way

There are information givers scattered throughout the region, each disguised to blend-in with its surroundings which provide a broad range of information on the country: history, political, economy, legends – such as that of Sebastian – culture, art and more.  On one side of the region sits a maze, inspired by Ensaio sobre a Cegueira ( Eng: Blindness), a novel by Portuguese writer and recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, José Saramago.

All told, the region packs a lot into it, so it is worthwhile taking the time to explore. The note cards are both informative and clearly written and help present one with insight into Portugal and its rich and diverse history and its position in the modern world. As well as the exhibit itself, the team responsible for The Portuguese Way are planning a series of cultural and musical events by Portuguese artists and performers working in Second Life.

The Portuguese Way
The Portuguese Way

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BOOFest! A time for tales that will haunt you

The Trace
The Trace – an autumnal feel

Once again the year is passing swiftly, already we are drawing close to saying goodbye to September and, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the last of the summer. Now October is peeking over the horizon, watching us; the time when the days grow shorter, the air crisper and the leaves on the trees turn to browns, reds, oranges and golds, before falling to carpet the ground beneath our feet.

October brings with it the first taste of winter and, as the nights draw in around us and as it also goes old, that time when pumpkins are prepared, and children take to the streets in all manner of spooky and bizarre costumes, earnestly asking for trick or treat; when bonfires are lit, games are played, and ghostly tales are told.

The Trace
The Trace – pumpkins!

To mark the arrival of Halloween, Stories Unlimited and Branwen Arts will once again be hosting Boofest! and Boostock, and are issuing a call for performers.

BooFest 2013This year’s event will take place on the weekend of Saturday 26th (Boostock) and Sunday 27th October  (Boofest!), at Bran, and the organisers are seeking performers willing to participate and recite tales of terror in a 30 or 60 minute time slot during Boofest! itself, which will take place between 10:00 and 17:00 SLT the 27th October.

Presenters can tell original tales of their own, or opt to read seasonal favourites and classics, or share those dark tales by authors perhaps not so well-known. The only requirements are that presentations fit the requested time slot and are given live (no pre-recordings).

If you would like to participate, forward a notecard to either Caledonia Skytower or Dubhna Rhiadra with the following information:

  • Your name
  • The length of the time slot you’ll like (30 or 60 minutes)
  • Whether you are performing solo or with others (please include their names),
  • The piece you intend to present if you know it (not vital, as long as the organisers know by October).
  • Time of day preference or any time constraints that need to be considered when scheduling you.

Note that there will be limited rezzing during the event, and there will be no streaming – it’s just a blazing fire, an audience – and your voice! Submissions are open now, and will remain open until midnight SLT on October 14th.

Boostock and Boofest! will be open to all Second Life residents, and there is no charge for attending. However, any gratuities received will directly benefit War Child North America, and Branwen Arts.

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Of blackmail, a Canadian in New York and Irish life

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library SL.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday September 22nd, 13:30: Tea Time at Baker Street

Caledonia Skytower and Corwyn Allen return to read another installment in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s volume of stories The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

Watson (l) and Holmes (c) confront Charles Augustus Milverton (Sidney Paget, Stand Magazine, 1904)

The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, first published in 1904, but thought to be set in 1899, sees Holmes and Watson retained by wealthy débutante Lady Eva Blackwell, who is being threatened by one Charles Augustus Milverton.

Milverton has obtained compromising letters written by Lady Blackwell, and is demanding £7,000 (around $700,000 today) in order not to reveal them and so put an end to her engagement, and bring shame down on her family.

Holmes regards Milverton as the “king of the blackmailers”, and more repulsive than any of the fifty or so murderers he has brought to account in his career. He resolves to recover the letters by any means necessary…

This is one of Sir Conan Doyle’s more unusual tales for the Great Detective, as it is believed to be based on a real-life blackmailer, Charles Augustus Howell. Howell was an art dealer who preyed upon an unknown number of people, including the poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He met his end under mysterious circumstances in 1890, when his body was found near a public house in Chelsea, London. His throat had been posthumously slit and a ten-shilling coin placed in his mouth. The presence of the coin was known to be a criticism of those guilty of slander.

Monday September 23rd, 19:00: Sci-fi Shorts

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads Hemeac and Dance of the Changer and the Three.

Tuesday September 24th, 19:00: The Words and Wit of David Rakoff

David Rakoff (1964-2012) - image courtesy of The New Yorker
David Rakoff (1964-2012) – image courtesy of The New Yorker

David Benjamin Rakoff was a Canadian-born writer and humorist most noted for his autobiographical writings. Rakoff was heavily influenced by David Sedaris, a former subject of a piece at Seanchai Library, and with whom Rakoff worked in both the theatre and on National Public Radio while based in New York City.

Rakoff was an essayist, journalist, and actor. He sometimes humourously / self-depreciatingly described himself as a “New York writer who also happened to be a Canadian writer”, a “mega Jewish writer”, a “gay writer” and an “East Asian Studies major who has forgotten most of his Japanese” writer.

Crap Mariner delves in to the Rakoff’s writings and presents an hours’ insight into his life and work – as seen through his own eyes.

Wednesday September 25th, 19:00: A Year in Tulfarris (3)

TulferrisFrom the book jacket:

“My boss was wondering if I’d be up for working in Dublin for a year. What would you think of moving to Ireland for a year?”

And so began the adventure, chronicled by his photographs and her written musings, as they explore monuments and meet people (and animals) who will leave an indelible mark on them and their children forever.

Follow them as they trek down livestock-riddled narrow lanes, traipse through fields to standing stones and megalithic tombs, and deal with the delightful and at-times maddening resistance on the Irish to the intrusions of the modern world.

Join Caladonia Skytower as she reads from this very personal and charming tale, laced as it is with a bittersweet twist.

Thursday September 26th, “Get yer spook on!”

Join Shandon Loring in getting into the Halloween spirit

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for September and October is Water for People. Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

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