Monday, 12 January 2009

One girl's dream

OK, it's Monday. And I was fully intending to post some stuff intended to promote my latest creations. But then something more important came up.

Yesterday, a friend sent me an IM that send a cold shiver down my spine. Let me start from the beginning.

I met Shakti last year. She was a very young, very bright Indian girl whose dream was to recreate the Avignon Festival (a huge, huge international theatre event) on SL. One of the organisers of the festival met her in India, and was impressed enough to provide support for her out of his pocket, including paying for an Open Space sim (owned by a good friend of mine).

Shakti's dream was also to help her people in the slums of Dharavi, Mumbai. She worked in a Mumbai hotel, meaning she had access to SL. For her, SL was a window on the world, and she treasured her contacts with people there, with the western world (which she saw as a paradise).

A few of us tried to help out with her SL/RL dream.

Sadly, it didn't go well. Shakti was the sweetest person but she didn't really know SL's workings that well, and she didn't communicate what she wanted in time. The idea was to link the SL location to the month-long festival, to re-create the theatre and parts of the town of Avignon, but it was all started too late. It needed the input of scripters, PR people, and media experts to tie it into Avignon and bring it to life.

Those involved (we were builders) all drifted away in the end as things just weren't moving. In the end, I think it was a flop.

Shakti was, however, in touch a few weeks back to say that the 2009 version was going to be way better...and that this time, it would be planned far enough ahead.

And then silence.

Shakti was shot and killed in Mumbai recently. News filtered through to the Festival organisers and then to a friend of mine who owned the sim and helped with the building. She has been burned, as tradition calls for, in Dharavi.

The Festival people have said they will continue work on her dream. I have no idea what sort of financing they will get for it, or whether they will be in a position to pay builders or scripters or anyone else.

I admit freely that I was more interested in my SL 'business' to really care about this 'volunteer' work at the time. However, if the project takes off for July 2009, I'll be there. Paid or not.

I'll also be nagging and pestering in any forum I can to find other people to help.

So if you, or anyone you know, is willing to give input on the project, please let me know.

Rest in peace, Shakti.


AstroSphinx said...

Ari, I don't know what skills I have that can contribute anything, but if you need my help, or if there is anything I can do for this event, please let me know.

Ari K said...

Thank you. If the project takes off, it will need everything from builders to scripters to PR people and just people willing to TALK about it.

I hope it does.