Sunday, June 20, 2010

Neda's Day Vigil

Building continues at Entre Nous Island, including work on our memorial Path of Honor for victims of oppression.  The first memorial we built was to Neda Agha-Soltan, whose death was captured on cell phone video and seen by millions around the world, one year ago on June 20, 2009.

People from all over the world can come together in a virtual space at this memorial to light a candle and hold it in memory of Neda, as several did today to honor the one-year anniversary of her death.  In the building nearby, visitors can view the HBO documentary For Neda, as well as many musical tributes to this young woman whose death shocked the whole world.

If you've tried Second Life before and found it too slow, you may want to give the latest 2.1 Alpha viewer a try, it has greatly increased speed and stability.  Once you've logged in to second life, simply paste this SLurl into your Viewer address bar, and you will be teleported to the memorial: 
Together we can help show the world that Neda will never be forgotten.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Second Life Projects Underway!

After a great response to our June 12 solidarity protest for prisoners of conscience in Iran, part of the worldwide day of action coordinated by United4Iran, I'm excited to report that we'll be able to maintain and build Entre Nous Island in Second Life as a space for the #iranelection community and all other supporters of human rights!

Some new projects we're beginning are a Path of Honor, a walking path that spans the entire island with memorial displays honoring and remembering those who've had their lives destroyed by violations of their human rights, both those martyred like Neda and those unjustly imprisoned for their beliefs like the 7 Baha'i leaders whose unfair trial recently concluded.

Check back for more pictures as the creation progresses!

Neda's Memorial at Entre Nous Island

We are also working on a space for collaborative news aggregating and tweeting, so visitors can comment on the live tweet stream, research new information for the community, and comment and exchange ideas in real-time chat.  Pictures and more info coming soon!

Baha'i Pavilion

Baha'i Pavilion Interior View

Having trouble accessing Second Life?  Be sure you have the latest version of the official Linden Lab viewer; new versions are released regularly that may fix some common bugs.  However, if your computer simply doesn't have the graphics power to run the program, soon we will be integrating basic realtime text chat from IRC and Twitter into the chat stream at the Island, so even those who can't be there in 3D can communicate back and forth with those who are.  

Also, exciting news is buzzing that Linden Lab will soon be unveiling a new web-based browser that should make the world accessible to almost everyone!  Whenever you get there, however you view it, by text or web plugin or in the full standalone viewer, Entre Nous Island will be there standing firm for human rights!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Next Generation Virtual Protest: 22 Khordad at 3D Virtual Evin

I apologize for such a long gap between posts, but I have been deeply focused on helping put together a new way to show support for the Green Movement and prisoners of conscience in Iran, and all others worldwide who are struggling for their human and civil rights.  I invite everyone to visit a new 3D immersive social networking environment for human rights activism: Entre Nous Island in Second Life.

Entre Nous Island

Entre Nous Island is the brainchild of #IranElection tweeter Sephir0t, who was inspired to take the concept of virtual protest to the next level of interactive virtual reality.  In Second Life, users control a totally customizable 3D avatar in a realistic space, and interact with other users from all over the world.  You can explore the environment by walking, using vehicles from bikes to boats and beyond, or simply flying effortlessly.

Beach at Entre Nous Island

On the Island, you can chat in real time by either text or voice, and trade links, notes, pictures, or custom in-world creations limited only by the imagination.  From within the world, individuals can view and interact with websites, send and receive tweets, and communicate through in-world chats.  Groups can watch movies and slideshows together, listen to and comment on an audio stream in real time, and experience a powerful sense of connectedness with others from all around the world.

Entre Nous Community Amphitheater

Excited by these possibilities, Sephir0t and I began investigating the potentials of Second Life in March 2010.  We discovered a thriving community of activists for many causes who provide a very positive and welcoming network for anyone committed to human rights.  Benefiting from the wisdom of these experienced Second Life activists, we realized the only way to ensure a secure and stable environment for our community was to purchase an "island," a piece of virtual land that can be completely controlled by the group to prevent any would-be "griefing," or attempts to disturb events.  No thuggery will be tolerated at Entre Nous, though all are welcome to come and exchange ideas respectfully. 

Campfire Chat Area

Entre Nous Island is a virtual space for raising awareness of human rights, and everyone committed to the cause is invited to participate in the ongoing creation of the space, working together to build an evolving symbol of support for all who fight for their human rights.  

At our Virtual Evin Action Center, we stand in symbolic solidarity with the families of political prisoners in Iran who gather before the real-life prison in Tehran every day, hoping for the release of their family members imprisoned for protesting, blogging, and other expressions of free speech.

Virtual Evin Action Center

Inside the action center, you can browse the latest news on Iran, read the real time Twitter feed, learn how to help spread awareness, or watch full-length documentaries and YouTube videos.  

Entre Nous Island will be holding an all-day event at the Virtual Evin Action Center on June 12, 2010 / 22 Khordad, 1389 in solidarity with activists in more than 80 cities worldwide participating in the Global Day of Action coordinated by United4Iran.

Virtual Evin: Interactive Video Center

Getting started in Second Life is easy and free, though it does take some time to acclimate to the 3D environment and become familiar with navigating it.  Begin by downloading the latest Viewer 2 browser at then just create a name, choose a starter avatar, and sign in.

After learning basic movement controls at a Welcome Island, you can come straight to Entre Nous Island by clicking this Second Life URL (or "SLurl"):  Entre Nous or pasting this link into your Viewer 2 browser address bar: Feel free to enter the action center or take your time and explore the rest of the island.  You can enjoy the scenery, strike up a conversation with other visitors, or browse the media collection inside Virtual Evin, including a live stream of E-Persian Radio.

Virtual Evin Interior: Interactive Web Panels

During the all-day June 12/22 Khordad solidarity event, visitors will be welcome to light virtual candles, share their experiences and hopes with the group, listen to live calls from Tehran on the radio, view documentaries and music videos, and more.  Experienced Second Life users will be on hand to assist new users with any difficulties in a safe and caring environment, so don't be afraid to take the plunge into 3D and join us at Entre Nous.


As part of the United4Iran coordinated Global Day of Action, on June 12, Entre Nous Island will be highlighting the situation of a particular prisoner of conscience: Shiva Nazar Ahari.  You can read more about her here.

Some photos highlighting our preparations for the rally:

On June 12, activists worldwide will wear masks of prisoner faces for solidarity

Click the interactive poster in-world to participate in the Postcard Campaign

Right-click to take a copy of the Welcome Pack for a rally shirt, mask & memorial candle

Can't wait to see you there!