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Monday, October 24, 2011

Sardinia unpacked

First, let me say, Libriamo Tutti. Take that, Google Translate.
Anyway. When this blog started out, the aim of the ArtsParks group was to celebrate the brilliant builds in Second Life that celebrated great art in the real world - painters, poets, that kind of thing. Back in the day, genuine fans felt free to spend weeks of intricate, imaginative, and unpaid effort  in order to represent and honor the genius of others. Thanks to their work in SL, I discovered Japanese erotica and the poems of Edna St Vincent Millay; Storm Petersen, Jerry Garcia, Anne Desclos, Kracow, and the Rumsey Maps. 
SL is fleeting, we all know, but the honest-to-goodness Arts Park has become a rare find, and a quick trip through Linden Lab's Mesh IP Tutorial will tell you why: it's all about the cash. How depressing.
But cheer up, and go to Sardinia - for free, in Second Life!  In Sardigna, as the locals call it, they know all about disappearing culture. Thousands of years ago, around the time the Egyptians were getting themselves mummified, the Sardinians were building fancy towers, statues and zigurrats like this one, Monte d'Acoddi, restored to its original glory, complete with altar, menhir, and hidden chamber for the sacred activity of priestly nookie. 
Love those olive trees, themselves as old as time. The island of Sardinia is literally packed with hundreds of ancient structures, which have been shaken to bits by time and the unkind hands of invaders. Barisone Sirbu and his talented and friendly group, Sardinian People, have taken the lid off this long-misunderstood and belittled culture, and rebuilt it under a kinder, virtual sun.
But wait - there's more. Sardinian culture has taken a double whammy when it comes to demolition. Not only the structures themselves have been ripped up, but the very nature and history of this ancient people has been buried. The locals blame political reasons, the same reasons that led, for example, to the suppression of  the Welsh language in the British Isles. Even today, most mainstream historians gloss over the idea that Sardinians had it going on probably before the Greeks and the Etruscans. It particularly ticks off the locals when their bronze-age towers are labelled as 'castles' rather than meeting places. 
Barisone leads the way
In a bid to inform and redress the balance, the Sardinian People have put together a fantastic museum, underneath the reconstructed Monte d'Acoddi.

It's a journey through a culture that involves sombreros, compass-drawn eyes, and a classic Italian 'mystery': the Giants of Monti Prama. Smashed into over 5000 pieces, after their discovery they were neglected (or hidden??) for three decades, and only recently are coming back to life - as you can see in the photos here.
As you can tell, the sim is a Must-Visit.
If you're around SL today, you'll get a special treat, because they're hosting an event by Libriamo Tutti
TP to the Sardinia sim before 12.30 SLT, take a seat on the gorgeous La Pelosa di Stintino beach, and watch a TV-documentary-style presentation of the Island, in which the owner Barisone Sirbu shows the island's main attractions to Imparafacile Runo and medievalist (stroke cunning cameraman) Sergej Zarf.
Sergej and Impa roasting their toes

If you can't be in SL, you can see the whole thing on LibriamoTutti's live stream. It'll be archived, too. They follow the guided tour with a discussion of books that will be either 1. about Sardinia, 2. written by Sardinians, - or 3. maybe just loved and read by them.
Imparafacile Runo: The important thing is to involve the public, to spend time together. Our events attract about 40 people at present. The plan is to extend this format into the real world libraries, creating evening events where folks can come in to their local RL Library branch and 'commune' with Second Life, via a big screen and voice, while in the SL venue, the RL audience will also be visible.
How neat!
Talking towers with Mysotis Flores

Libriamo or not, Sardinia has a regular program of quality events, their big night is generally Wednesday at around 1pm SLT On November 21, for example, Sardinian pianist Luca Sirigu will be playing... *I predict some slow dancing!!*.
Regardless of your time zone, I don't think you could ever be bored or lonely here. My only complaint, they don't let you tp from point to point: just like real life, then. But everyone is bubbly, friendly, kind and informed - so if this is Sardinia - sign me up!

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