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Camp Darfur

My second destination on the Better World Island is if anything even more powerful and affecting than the first. This is Camp Darfur, based around the terrible events in the Sudan.

This is going to be a shorter blog post, because I am reduced to silence. Words and pictures can’t adequately convey the impact of this particular exhibition (and “exhibition” really seems the wrong word), I can only encourage you to visit it yourself.

As with the Baghdad Streets area, it includes some practical ideas, in this case mainly by way of links to websites where you can sign petitions or join groups to support the work of others.

Links

SLURL for Better World Island

This will take you to the hub. You can explore the island from there, or use the teleports.

My album of pictures from the island

Baghdad Streets Exhibition

The Better World island exists, in the words of its owner, Riversong Garden, “to network, nurture, and build awareness about groups, individuals and issues that affect our world.” (Quoted from the September edition of PrimPerfect magazine).

There are various different areas on the island, most of them dedicated in one way or another to raising people’s awareness about situations that exist in the real world, and encouraging them to get involved in actions which can help.

For my first day on the island, after taking a stroll to watch the sunrise, I made my way to the Baghdad Streets exhibition.

“Exhibition” is the wrong word. “Immersive experience”, perhaps. Not quite a simulation (though there are elements of that), but more than just a static collection of pictures.

Even before you enter through one of the stone archways, you can see the flames rising from the street, and hear the sounds of guns, of people sobbing…it is a deeply involving experience.

At various places there are notecard providers. One of them, for example, is from an Iraqi student describing her own experience and feelings (bringing an immediate and highly personal note to the exhibition).

At one place there is a rather incongruous tip-jar, above which floats the message “But what can I do?” And this is the other point about this exhibition. It is not there simply to bring home the suffering of the ordinary people in Iraq. It is there to encourage you to do something about it, and to suggest what you could do.

I think I can do no better than to reproduce the contents of the notecard here. For my part, I don’t necessarily agree with all the views of the creators of this exhibit (but that is a complicated area, and this is not a political blog, so I’ll refrain from further comment), but the simplicity and direct practicality of these suggestions certainly wins my support and admiration:

Notecard from Baghdad Streets exhibition

But What Can I Do?

So you have opened your heart.
So you have felt compassion.
So what?

Turn your feelings into a simple gesture:

Send an email to an Iraqi student and break through the depth of
isolation that comes from living in a war zone: 

121Contact@bru-mar.com

Contribute to 121Contact with a generous donation into the tip jar
behind this notice. Help this program continue to heal the trauma
engendered by the US occupation of Iraq.

Send a check to:
Bruce Wallace
121Contact
523 72nd Street
Brooklyn NY 11209

Call you political representatives and ask them to move toward
withdrawing our troops from Iraq as soon as possible.

Be peaceful in your self; with your family; with your friends;
with your enemies. It all starts with you.

In loving kindness, 
PT Witte

Links

You will find an album of my pictures from the Better World Island here:

http://www.sluniverse.com/pics/ViewAlbum.aspx?id=1238

There is an article about the Better World Island in the September edition of Prim Perfect magazine, which gives much more of the background to island:

Prim Perfect Magazine, September 2007

The owner of the Better World island is Riversong Garden, who has her own website/blog here:

http://riversong.vox.com/