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  • In the summer of 2017,

  • a woman was murdered by her partner in Sofia.

  • The woman, let's call her \"V,\"

  • was beaten for over 50 minutes

  • before she died.

  • The morning after,

  • her neighbors told the press that they heard her screams,

  • but they didn't intervene.

  • You see, in Bulgaria and many other societies,

  • domestic violence is typically seen as a private matter.

  • Neighbors, however, are quick to react to any other kind of noise.

  • We wanted to expose and affect the absurdity of this.

  • So we designed an experiment.

  • We rented the apartment just below V's for one night.

  • And at 10pm,

  • Maksim, the artist in our group,

  • sat on the drum set we had assembled in the living room

  • and started beating it.

  • Ten seconds.

  • Thirty seconds.

  • Fifty seconds.

  • A minute.

  • A light came on in the hallway.

  • One minute and 20 seconds.

  • A man was standing at the door, hesitant to press the bell.

  • One minute and 52 seconds.

  • The doorbell rang,

  • a ring that could have saved a life.

  • \"Beat.\" is our project exploring the ominous silence

  • surrounding domestic violence.

  • We filmed the experiment, and it became instantly viral.

  • Our campaign amplified the voices of survivors

  • who shared similar stories online.

  • It equipped neighbors with specific advice,

  • and many committed to taking action.

  • In a country where every other week,

  • the ground quietly embraces the body of a woman

  • murdered by a partner or a relative,

  • we were loud,

  • and we were heard.

  • I am an activist,

  • passionate about human rights innovation.

  • I lead a global organization for socially engaged creative solutions.

  • In my work, I think about how to make people care and act.

  • I am here to tell you that creative actions can save the world,

  • creative actions and play.

  • I know it is weird to talk about play and human rights in the same sentence,

  • but here is why it's important.

  • More and more, we fear that we can't win this.

  • Campaigns feel dull,

  • messages drown,

  • people break.

  • Numerous studies, including a recent one published by Columbia University,

  • show that burnout and depression are widespread amongst activists.

  • Years ago, I myself was burned out.

  • In a world of endless ways forward, I felt at my final stop.

  • So what melts fear or dullness or gloom?

  • Play.

  • From this very stage, psychiatrist and play researcher Dr. Stuart Brown

  • said that nothing lights up the brain like play,

  • and that the opposite of play is not work,

  • it's depression.

  • So to pull out of my own burnout,

  • I decided to turn my activism into what I call today \"play-tivism.\"

  • (Laughter)

  • When we play, others want to join.

  • Today, my playground is filled with artists,

  • techies and scientists.

  • We fuse disciplines in radical collaboration.

  • Together, we seek new ways to empower activism.

  • Our outcomes are not meant to be playful,

  • but our process is.

  • To us, play is an act of resistance.

  • For example, \"Beat.,\" the project I talked about earlier,

  • is a concept developed by a drummer and a software engineer

  • who didn't know each other two days before they pitched the idea.

  • \"Beat.\" is the first winner in our lab series

  • where we pair artists and technologists to work on human rights issues.

  • Other winning concepts include a pop-up bakery

  • that teaches about fake news through beautiful but horrible-tasting cupcakes --

  • (Laughter)

  • or a board game that puts you in the shoes of a dictator

  • so you get to really grasp the range of tools and tactics of oppression.

  • We did our first lab just to test the idea,

  • to see where it cracks and if we can make it better.

  • Today, we are so in love with the format that we put it all online

  • for anyone to implement.

  • I cannot overstate the value of experimentation in activism.

  • We can only win if we are not afraid to lose.

  • When we play, we learn.

  • A recent study published by Stanford University

  • about the science of what makes people care

  • reconfirms what we have been hearing for years:

  • opinions are changed not from more information

  • but through empathy-inducing experiences.

  • So learning from science and art,

  • we saw that we can talk about global armed conflict through light bulbs,

  • or address racial inequality in the US

  • through postcards,

  • or tackle the lack of even one single monument of a woman in Sofia

  • by flooding the city with them,

  • and, with all these works,

  • to trigger dialogue, understanding and direct action.

  • Sometimes, when I talk about taking risks and trying and failing

  • in the context of human rights,

  • I meet raised eyebrows,

  • eyebrows that say, \"How irresponsible,\"

  • or, \"How insensitive.\"

  • People often mistake play for negligence.

  • It is not.

  • Play doesn't just grow our armies stronger or spark better ideas.

  • In times of painful injustice,

  • play brings the levity we need to be able to breathe.

  • When we play, we live.

  • I grew up in a time

  • when all play was forbidden.

  • My family's lives were crushed by a communist dictatorship.

  • For my aunt, my grandfather, my father,

  • we always held two funerals:

  • one for their bodies,

  • but, years before that,

  • one for their dreams.

  • Some of my biggest dreams are nightmares.

  • I have a nightmare that one day all the past will be forgotten

  • and new clothes will be dripping the blood of past mistakes.

  • I have a nightmare

  • that one day the lighthouses of our humanity will crumble,

  • corroded by acid waves of hate.

  • But way more than that,

  • I have hope.

  • In our fights for justice and freedom,

  • I hope that we play,

  • and that we see the joy and beauty of us playing together.

  • That's how we win.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

In the summer of 2017,

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B1 US TED play activism burnout sofia people care

【TED】Yana Buhrer Tavanier: How to recover from activism burnout (How to recover from activism burnout | Yana Buhrer Tavanier)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2019/05/22
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