One Billion Rising in Second Life will once again be taking place in Second Life on Friday, February 14th, 2020. The event will officially commence at just after midnight SLT on the 13th/14th February with a live performance by Holly Giles. Activities will then run right through the 24 hours of February with music, dancing, art and events.
When launched in the physical world on Valentine’s Day 2012, One Billion Rising (OBR) was the biggest mass action in human history; a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls who are at risk. OBR aims to bring people together, raise greater awareness of the plight of those at risk the world over, and bring about a fundamental change in how vulnerable and defenceless women and girls are treated.
This year follows the established format for OBR in Second Life, with four regions laid out to offer a central music / dance arena, around which sets and music sessions will move throughout the 24 hours of the event. In the surrounding parkland, and linked to the central stages and one another by trails and paths, are the landing points (with information givers), art exhibits, gardens, and additional event areas, such as the Poetry and Prose area.
Art installations this year include works by Instituto Español SL, Daark Gothly, iSky Silverweb, 2Lei, Jaz, Fran Gustav, Fifi Oh, Marcel Mosswood, FionaFei, Solkilde Auer, Ilyra Chardin, BB Woodford, Burners Without Borders in SL, Isadora Alaya, Campbell Hero Walk, Pixxe Snowpaw, and Darkstone Aeon.
In addition for 2020, there is a special exhibition: the OBR I Rise Campaign. In January 2020, Second Life artists and photographers were invited to produce original images for display at OBR in SL 2020. All of the images have been created from the heart and are intended to support the message of One Billion Rising: educating people about the plight of women. However, survivors may find some of the images uncomfortable. If this is the case, they are asked to reach out to event organisers if they feel they need support. All of the photographs can additionally be seen on the Campaign’s Flickr group.
In addition, the four corners of the OBR estate offer park areas, two of them with elevated aspects that offer views across the regions, while the #MeToo Forest on the Unite region presents a place of retreat and meditation / contemplation. Also within Unite is the Heroes’ Pavilion featuring inspirational stories about women from many different cultures and communities.
The full schedule of events is now available, covering all live performers, DJs, dance performances and poetry.
A critique sometimes levelled at OBR / OBR in SL is that the issues it raises cannot be solved by dance. Well, that’s absolutely true, just as marching through the streets carrying placards and banners is unlikely to have a lasting impact on whatever it is people might be marching about.
But – like marches and protests, dance and music does serve to draw attention to matters. It provides a means by which people are encouraged to stop and think, and for information and ideas to be disseminated. What’s also important is that it’s a lot harder to see dancing as a threat than might be the case with an organised march or protest – something to take into consideration given there are countries where the right to march or protest freely does not exist. Hence why, as well, OBR in Second Life is marked each year with a dance video to the OBR theme song.
OBR in SL is not itself a fund-raising event, but exists as a means of raising awareness of violence against women and girls. If you’d like to show your support for organisations that work tirelessly throughout the year to bring about change, please visit the OBR in Second Life Non-Profits page for a short list of organisations.
One Billion Rising in Second Life 2020 will open its doors to the public shortly before midnight SLT on the 13th/14th February 2020. Do consider popping along and showing support during Friday, February 14th.