One Billion Rising in Second Life will once again be taking place in Second Life on Monday, February 14th, 2022. As with previous years, the event opens at midnight SLT of Sunday 13th / Monday 14th February, with entertainment and activities then running all the way through to midnight SLT on Monday 14th / Tuesday 15th.
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, the global movement takes as its theme RISE for the Bodies of All Women, Girls & the Earth, which the organisers note is a move towards more direct political awareness / activism:
[T]o connect both in a deeper, more purposeful, political, transformative and yet also empowering, hopeful way. And to make this coming year a truly radical, bold, fearless escalation of artistic risings … This past year has seen global lockdowns, government neglect, health crises, proliferation of authoritarian regimes, endemic exploitation of labor, escalating corporate greed, worsening poverty, racism and exclusion, the grave ongoing destruction and pillaging of the environment for capital, as well as the deterioration of the climate. At the core of all of this is the injurious hold of patriarchy and misogyny ––on women’s rights and freedom.
We call on the world to hold Artistic Risings for the bodies of all women and for the ‘ultimate body’- our Earth. Using the body as your call. Using the body as your resistance. We call on the world to use ART. Dance. Visual art. Physical and immersive theatre. Film. Sculpture. Painting. Sports. Performances (Live and Recorded). Photography and digital art.
Within Second Life, the event presents four full regions as a square with the primary stage for music and dance straddling the adjoining corners, allowing up to 200 people at a time to share in activities and events. Each region – Dance, Resist, Rise and Unite, has its own landing point – SLurls at the end of this piece (which will open to the public shortly before the event officially opening). These provide information on the event, links to discover more about the global One Billion Rising movement, freebies, and paths to both the main event stage and other event spaces within each of the regions.
The latter include the Poetry Corner (OBR Resist), where live readings will be taking place; the Resist garden with its water feature and sculptures; plus the dance theatre and performance spaces (OBR Dance) where some of SL’s top dance and performance groups – such as Misfit Dance and Performance, TerpsiCorps ARTWerks, Guerilla Burlesque, Elysuim Cabaret and the Changhigh Sisters (to name but a handful) will be performing through the 24 hours.
Artists participating in this year’s event include: 2lei, Burners Without Borders, Instituto Español SL, Darkstone Aeon, Roxelo Babenco / Museo del Metaverse, Illyra Chardin, Fiona Fei, Daark Gothly, Johannes Huntsman, Kicca Igaly and Macel Mosswood, Rubin Mayo, Krystal Rabeni, Tempest Rosca, iSkye Silverweb, Jennifer Steele. BB Woodford, AngelaThespian and PrtrickofIreland, Jaz, Kalyca, and Tansee,
Their installations can be found around the outside edge of the four regions, with information available on each display available touching the sign board in front of each of them. In addition, One Billion Rising will once more feature the #MeTooForest, a place of retreat and meditation / contemplation (OBR Unite), together with the Heroes Pavilion, featuring inspirational stories about women from many different cultures and communities (OBR Rise). These can both be found along the outside of the region alongside the art display. In addition, the four corners of the OBR region offer park areas providing further places of retreat. quiet and meditation for those who may need them.
The full schedule of events is now available, covering all live performers, DJs, dance performances and poetry readings.
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, while also providing a focal point of attention that allows 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.