virtual people smuggler :: destination woomera

23.Mar.02 - the virtual people smuggler is a platform that enables individuals to virtually participate in polical actions such as protests. it's intended for those who want to support these events, but who cannot join them offline for whatever reasons. by virtualy participating you make it known that you support the struggles being waged during the event. as a virtual participant you can explain the reasons for your participation, you can comment on the things that happen at the offline event and and you can communicate with other virtual participants.

the first installment of the virtual people smuggler will take you to woomera (australia), where - during the easter weekend of 2002 - a protest festival will address a number of issues that are highlighted in this remote town in the desert of southern australia: internment of sans papier, indigenous struggles for land rights, uranium mining, missile testing, toxic waste dumping, and military surveillance.

The Virtual People Smuggler - as is the case with 'people smuggling' generally - arose out of the need and desire to cross borders. In the first instance, to cross the borders of various noborder events and protests themselves, to create a space which was an adequate expression of the movements for the freedom of movement.

Confined neither by geopolitical limits nor the standard aesthetics of protests, the Virtual People Smuggler pays tribute to the chatrooms, spoof sites, weblogs, online gaming, independent media as virtual, vital and, therefore, actual moments in the crossing of borders. In other words, as the experience encountered by people as they log in to virtual communities which are unrestrained by national borders, and also, thereby, as one of the forms in which protests (especially noborder protests and events) can and do occur.

Crossing the distinction between 'virtual' and 'actual' (which denies the experience of virtual communities and communication as real, as both effective and affective), as well as celebrating the desire for freedom of movement (which results not only in clandestine travel arranged by people-smugglers in order to cross geopolitical borders, but also gave rise to the most successful salespitch for internet software), the Virtual People Smuggler asks, "Where do you want to go today?"