The desert sands lead on, but look ahead –
a palace of bright tents and green date palms
where camel backs can crumple knee bones down.
An oasis waits beneath the desert moon.
East meets west in a special celebration on Saturday, June 24th, 2017. Commencing at 07:00 SLT, Caravanserai 1 sees Dr Chris Mooney Singh (Singh Albatros) of The Writers Centre, Singapore and Scott Grant (Kaylee West) of Monash University in Melbourne Australia come together to create an event celebrating the connective cultural thread that is the legendary Silk Road.
In a desert oasis setting, they have brought together artists from around the grid for storytelling, drama, song, and machinima, to be followed by a panel discussion on the value of virtual arts in education.
Caravanserai’s intent is to celebrate the sharing of different cultures by transporting guests to an earlier time when the Silk Road contributed hugely to artistic and cultural understanding and world culture. Travellers going both directions would seek shelter in oasis’ or a caravanserai: an inn with a central courtyard for wayfarers in the desert regions of Asia or North Africa. These places of rest supported the flow of commerce, information, and people across the network of trade routes covering Asia, North Africa, and South-east Europe, especially along the Silk Road. In that pre-television, pre-internet time, it is easy to imagine people from many different traditions gathered around a fire with refreshments, sharing songs and tales of their lands and travels.
This free performance is open to all Second Life Residents and is both part of this year’s SL MOOC, and benefits Feed A Smile.
For the event, much of which is presented in Voice, Singh narrates the programme, featuring his own adaptation of The Elephant and the Six Blind Men, original songs, special musical guest – gypsy violinist Navtali Torok, and James Elroy Flecker’s 1913 verse drama The Golden Road to Samarkand, he is also joined by actors Pip Albatros, Corwyn Allen, and Mavromichali Szondi.
There will be a screening of a machinima based on the Edwin Thumboo poem Ulysses by the Merlion and there will be time for Questions and Answers as part of the panel discussion portion of the programme. The event will close out with a final song before the caravan comes full circle, and guests disembark for their native lands once more.
About SL MOOC
SL MOOC is a month-long cavalcade of education which focuses on active learning, reflection, sharing, and collaboration. The aim of the courses and workshops offered is for the participants to learn through meaningful connections and social interactions, building on the strength of virtual worlds as learning tools.
About Feed A Smile
Feed A Smile is a programme run by Live and Learn Kenya (LLK) to provide nutritious warm lunches for over 400 children every day, paid for entirely from donations to the project. It is part of a broader programme managed by LLK, which includes finding sponsors to finance the education of children in Kenya and helping to provide them with everything they need: uniforms, shoes, text books, school supplies, etc., and the building of the Nakuru school, Kenya.
In addition, the organisation also provides medical and dental care for children, including check-ups and vaccinations. 100% of the donations received by LLK are transferred directly to Kenya to care for children, provide education, medicine, food, shelter and foster care. Nothing is lost to salaries, fees or administrative costs at LLK.
- Caranvanserai 1: A Silk Road Celebration of the Arts (Monash University, rated: General)