OBR in SL 2014: a belated look back from the sidelines

One Billion Rising, 2014
One Billion Rising, 2014

Once again RL and other things conspired against me, and the time I could spend at One Billion Rising (OBR) in Second Life 2014 wasn’t what I had hoped would be the case. Since then, other things have also conspired to keep this post on hold, so my apologies for the fact it is a little on the late side.

Last year, as it was the first official OBR year, there was something of a long lead-up to the event. It was new territory, a team had to be put together, musicians, DJs and artists contacted and a generally awareness campaign launched.

One Billion Rising, 2014
One Billion Rising, 2014

This year the timetable was  – in terms of publicity at least – somewhat shorter (although those involved in the organisation had obviously been working away quietly for some time before word started spreading through blogs, forums and word of mouth).


One Billion Rising, 2014
One Billion Rising, 2014


Even so, the turn-out was good, and the four regions sponsored for the event were amazing, with Victor1 Mornignton’s magnificent four-region stage a wonder to behold. Around it, along all four regions, artists from around the world had contributed some fabulous pieces which encouraged visitors to explore and avail themselves of the kiosks providing information on real-world groups and organisations providing support for victims of violence.

Of course, there were familiar voices raised against the event in the SL Feeds, rolling-out the same, hollow excuse in order to engage in a passive/aggressive attempt to disparage the event on the grounds that it “ignores violence against men”; an argument which to me is akin to saying it is better to do nothing with regards to violence against children as it “ignores” violence against adults.

One Billion Rising, 2014
One Billion Rising, 2014

For my part, and while I didn’t get to spend quite the amount of time at the event as I’d hoped, I would like to pass on my thanks to the organisers, sponsors, artists, musicians and DJs who gave time, effort and commitment to making it happen. Kudos, as well, to all of those – of either gender – who attended (and thank you, to all of you who IM’d me with hellos!).

In the meantime. I tried my hand at another video …

One Billion Rising: rise, release, dance in Second Life

OBR in SL 2014;  Victor1st Mornington's magnificent 4-region stage
OBR in SL 2014; Victor1st Mornington’s magnificent 4-region stage

One Billion Rising is set to take place on February 14th 2014. Around the world, men and women will be gathering “outside places where they are entitled to justice – court houses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not.”

OBer 2104: Kicca Igaly
OBR in SL 2104: Kicca Igaly

The event, first held in 2013, did much to raise awareness and bring people together through music, dance and helped provide information on organisations where victims of domestic and societal abuse and repression can find help  – and those wishing to give support could do so.

As with 2013, One Billion Rising will again be supported by Second Life users from around the world, with activities centred on a magnificent 4-region stage area surrounded by incredible works of art.

OBR 2014: Pallina60 Loon
OBR 2014: Pallina60 Loon

The gates officially open at 23:00 SLT on February 13th, with the music commencing at midnight and continuing non-stop through until midnight on February 14th. Everyone is invited to come along and rise, release and dance.

The term “One Billion Rising” is taken from UN findings which show that one in three women – one billion worldwide – are, at some point in their lives, the victim of violence at the hands of their partner, family members or complete strangers.

OBR 2014:
OBR in SL 2014: Giovanna Cerise

OBR in SL is not a fund-raising event. However, for those wishing to take direct action in support of women who have found themselves victims of violence, the four regions have multiple information givers which provide details on organisations around the world which will gladly accept donations and support.

The list of artists  – men and women – participating in this year’s event is phenomenal. Installations are located across all four regions and there is also a special 2D art gallery and a 3D art garden.

OBR in SL 2014: Betty Traud
OBR in SL 2014: Betty Tureaud

This year will also feature special poetry readings taking place at 08:00 SLT and 15:00 at the Poetry Cafe.

I hope all of you reading this will spend a part of you Valentine’s day visiting OBR 2014 for what promises to be another stunning community event. I know I’ll be there for at least part of the day – so do please say hello if you see me 🙂 .

The OBR 2014 map
The OBR 2014 map

Landmarks and Links

One Billion Rising in Second Life 2014 official press release


Contact: Saffia Widdershins
E-mail address: saffia.widdershins@gmail.com
Blog:  http://onebillionrisingsl2014.wordpress.com/home/


One Billion Rising for Justice in Second Life ill be held this Friday – ALL DAY FRIDAY 14th FEBRUARY

On February 14, 2013, for 24 hours starting at midnight Pacific Standard Time, Second Life residents will join with activists around the world in a spectacular 24-hour event for ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE, a very special day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.

The Second Life event will feature a four-region stage where 200 people can dance together, surrounded by an area of art installations, poetry events and informational exhibits. A variety of performers will play and perform over the 24-hour period, enabling people all over the world to attend this virtual event no matter their timezone. The regions will have a General maturity rating to allow all residents an opportunity to participate. Pictures are welcome on the event’s Flickr group.

ONE BILLION RISING began as 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. On February 14, 2014, men and women in Second Life will join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and people across the world to Rise, Dance, and Release as a show of unity, individual strength, and the need for change.

The objective of the event is to raise awareness, not to raise funds; however, information about real-world organisations will be available for those wishing to donate.

A stunning view of the main OBR in SL event stage in 2013 (courtesy of Wildstar Beaumont)
A stunning view of the main OBR in SL event stage in 2013 (courtesy of Wildstar Beaumont)

One Billion Rising in Second Life is sponsored by: Cheeky Pea; The Domineaux Effect; Dutchie; Gos Boutique; Heart Garden Centre; Maven Homes; MESHWORX; Prime; and Spargel and Shine. In-kind sponsors are: CaLLie CLine; Fruit Islands; KittyCatS!; Liv-Glam; Style by Kira; Sway’s;and Prim Perfect Publications.

The four regions have been named for the four core elements chosen as the focus of this years global event, One Billion Rising: OBR Rise, OBR Dance, OBR Release and OBR Justice.

Maya Paris was one of many SL artists who donated works to the OBR event in 2013
Maya Paris was one of many SL artists who donated works to the OBR event in 2013

Press and Bloggers

You are invited to our special press day on Thursday 13th February.

There will be three sessions where you can talk to organisers of the event together with involved in the activities. these will be held at 10:00, 14:00 and 16:00 SLT.  Between those times, you will be free to explore the regions and see the art installations.

If you would like to attend the press day, please ensure you complete this form.

About One Billion Rising

One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is one billion women. In 2013, one billion women and men shook the earth through dance to end violence against women and girls. This year, on 14 february 2014 we are calling on women and men everywhere to harness their power and imagination to rise for justice. Imagine, one billion women releasing their stories, dancing and speaking out at the places where they need justice, where they need an end to violence against women and girls. Join us!

Rise. Release. Dance!

“ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is a call to survivors to break the silence and release the stories of both pain and hope – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way best expresses their outrage, their need, their desire, and their joy.  The path to justice begins with acknowledging and recognizing the violence – letting it be known.” – Eve Ensler.

The 2013 OBR in SL official video

Further Information

OBR: the bear essentials are coming


Bears have long been a part of Second life tradition and history. Linden Bears are much sought after, and bears have been mascots for many activities and ventures.

Now Saffia brings word that Sway Dench, a long-time content creator in Second Life, has created a special One Billion Rising Bear, which will be a part of soon-to-be released Goodie Boxes which contain information and treats on the event, which will take place on February 14th.

In addition to the little, attachable bear, Sway has produced a larger bear which can be used as a OBR information vendor by stores sponsoring the event.

You can find out more about the bears and goodie boxes by keeping an eye on the OBR website.

Saffia and the OBR SL bears by Sway Dench (images courtesy of the OBR website)


Further Information

Rise, Release, Dance: OBR in Second Life 2014


February 14th will mark One Billion Rising for Justice around the globe, once again calling for an end to violence against women. In Second Life, it will see a gathering across four regions to mark the event.

The most recent update on the SL  event from the organisers reads in part:

logo2014-2In Second Life, we are working behind the scenes at the moment to get everything ready for One Billion Rising for Justice in Second Life.

The four regions that will make up our stage area have been arranged with Fruit Islands, and will be delivered next weekend. Then we’ll be getting to work on terraforming them while the stage is built (by Victor1st Mornington, who built the stage for us last year).  The artists will move in shortly after to set up their installations and this year, in addition to individual installations, there will also be galleries for 2D and 3D work.

Activities planned for the event include live music and DJs, with streaming provided by Lusch Audio, poetry readings, and opportunities to meet, chat and share. There will be kiosks across all four regions with information on One Billion Rising and on organisations that are working for justice for women across the globe.

Volunteers Still Needed

The organisers are still seeking volunteers to help with the event. If you’d like to offer  your services, please make sure you sign up! There will be workshops throughout the weekend of February 8th and 9th for those who do volunteer – so there’s no need to worry about being dropped in the deep end.

The Event

One Billion Rising for Justice is about raising awareness of global issues through an event that combines giving information with a day of art, music, poetry and dance. Donations are not taken directly by the organisers, who request  that people who want to donate find out more at the information kiosks and then select which organisations they would like to donate too.

Further Information

OBR: A time to Rise, a time to Dance – a time to reflect

A stunning view of the main OBR in SL event stage (courtesy of Wildstar Beaumont)
A stunning view of the main OBR in SL event stage (courtesy of Wildstar Beaumont)

Thursday February 14th marked the fifteenth anniversary of V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. It was marked by the first global movement of music and dance – One Billion Rising –  in which one billion women and those who love them were invited to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and demand an end to this violence.

One Billion Rising was marked in Second Life by a series of activities right across the grid, and centred on One Billion Rising in SL, a special gathering of talent organised by a huge team of volunteers and held in four regions commissioned and sponsored especially for the event.

Meilo Minotaur and CapCat  Ragu's "Cocoon Tree and Ophelia"
Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu’s “Cocoon Tree and Ophelia”

Four 24-hours, the music played across the huge, region-spanning stage standing at the centre of the sims, and people rose from across the grid and around the world to dance and lend their voices to the call to end violence against women of all ages. Eighteen of Second Life’s top artists also leant their talent to the call, providing eighteen thought-provoking works on the subject of women and the violence – physical or otherwise – so many face as they go about their daily lives.

Saffia Widdershin, one of the event organisers, dances at OBR in SL
Saffia Widdershin, one of the event organisers, dances at OBR in SL

As is so often the case, One Billion Rising in Second Life brought out the very best in Second Life, with people giving up their free time in droves to organise and support the event and ensure that it would be a memorable and enjoyable event for all those who participated as visitors. The organisation was near flawless, allowing for the inevitable quirks of SL, and everyone from the organising event staff through the teams of volunteers greeters, helpers and assistants, those providing event security, the builders and landscapers, the artists who provided art, the choreographers, dancers and film crew who participated in the creation the OBR in SL version of Breaking the Chain, those who provide video filming and streaming of the event itself, the DJs and – particularly importantly – the sponsors, and everyone else who participated in bringing the event together are to be congratulated.

For my part, I didn’t get to spend as much time at the event as I would have liked. An unexpected hole in the roof and a solid downfall of snow followed by rain led to a rather unexpected domestic situation on the 13th February, and meant that most of the 14th was spent helping with household repairs. However, this doesn’t mean I can’t still show support. The four regions of OBR in Second Life will be open through until 17:00 SLT on Friday February 15th. So if, like me, your time to dance and raise your hand in support of V-Day was curtailed or otherwise limited, there is still time to see the fabulous stage build by Victor1 Mornington and his team, and witness the 18 outstanding works of art around it.

While activities were centre on "the" OBR in SL event, other events also took place on the 14th February in SL - such as the 2Lei
While activities were centre on “the” OBR in SL event, other events also took place on the 14th February in SL – such as the 2Lei event (image courtesy of Alice Mastrioanni)

Another way to capture the event is to visit the One Billion is SL Flickr group, where people have posted their own pictures of the event. But I really do urge you to tour the regions themselves and see the art pieces on display and take the time to both read the note cards accompanying them and give thought to what they represent, and how we perhaps all too easily accept violence and harassment as an acceptable part of human life.

One Billion Rising in SL features 18 fantastic art installations
Gwen Carillon’s piece for OBR in SL

Of course, One Billion Rising in either real life or Second Life, isn’t going to transform matters overnight. I had planned to comment on this at length – but Saffia Widdershins has already done so very eloquently, and provided considerable food for thought; particularly for those who responded with a degree of hostility towards the event or who sought to denigrate the subject of violence against women through obfuscation and mis-direction. As such, I’ll only repeat the title of Saffia’s post, Events don’t change things, people do, and allow people to read her thoughts first-hand.

Suffice it to say that I do hope this was the first in what will become an annual event in Second Life as well as in Real Life, and that in the future we’ll be able to see it spread to include more venues across the grid, and serve as a catalyst for people to speak out against all forms of violence in the world, whether committed against women, children or men – and in doing so, change attitudes and beliefs the world over where violence is concerned, and for the better.

Kudos and thanks again to everyone who played a part in making OBR in SL happen, and who took part on the day.

Related Links

Elrik "Rik" Merlin spins out the music at OBR in SL (image courtesy of Wildstar Beaumont)
Elrik “Rik” Merlin spins out the music at OBR in SL (image courtesy of Wildstar Beaumont)