Second Life News: Draxtor Despres Report on”Virtual Gitmo” Wins Award

November 19th, 2008  |  Published in Second Life News  |  2 Comments

Machinima blogger Draxtor Despres (aka Bernhard Drax) has been awarded the “Every Human Has Rights” media award for his report on the “Virtual Gitmo” build in Second Life . He was invited to Paris by news agency internews ( to spend a week (December 5th to 11th) taking part in a ceremony with 30 international print, TV and online journalists – including special appearances by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on December 6th – celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Deeply aware of the historical significance of the award, Despres has this to say:

“Winning this award signals to me that established news organizations such as French internews are beginning to grasp the power and reach of virtual worlds as a means to collaborate and communicate ideas irrespective of physical proximity. More specifically, I’m impressed by the recognition of machinima as a powerful tool to communicate to the uninitiated public. This still very very abstract platform has gained legitimacy through this award.
But praise really goes to Nonny Writer and Ping Rau, who created Virtual Gitmo. They showed that SL has more to offer than furry sex and dance clubs.
Human rights and the pressing social issues of the day can be addressed perfectly in SL.”

Nonny dela Penahe, co-creator of the “Gone Gitmo” installation in SL, will travel to the ACE Conference in Yokohama, Japan, December 3-5, 2008 – International Conference on Advances for Computer Entertainment Technology ( – to talk about her work in Second Life. Dela Pena (Nonny Writer in SL) recently presented the Gitmo project at the AFI Digifest on November 7, 2008 in Hollywood, where the machinima report was shown at the historic Mann’s Chinese Theatre
Nonny will further showcase the project at USC on November 14, 2008 at the Center for Scholarly Technology, Technology Enhanced Learning, USC ITS and at UC SANTA CRUZ on November 19, 2008 at the Art Technology & Culture Colloquium-UC Santa Cruz.

– Vanity Fair
– Chronicle of Higher Education
– Columbia Spectator
– Der Spiegel (Germany),1518,510688,00.html

Prior presentations of “Gone Gitmo”:
National Association of Latino Independent Producers Conference (NALIP) 2008
SilverDocs, Washington, DC 2008
Sundance New Frontiers Panel: “Alternative Storytelling for New Media Platforms” 2008
Women in Film and Television International, Toronto 2007
Latino International Film Festival and Media Conference, LosAngeles 2007
National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture, Austin, 2007
National Black Programming Consortium, New Media Institute, Jackson 2007
National PBS Content Summit, San Francisco 2007
The Conversation, The Future of Visual Storytelling, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley 2008

Bernhard Drax has created over 60 machinima reports in Second Life. His series for the MacArthur philanthropy project has been nominated for Best Series at the 2008 NYC machinima festival. His reports on the appearance of chief prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo at the International Justice Center in SL, the Harvard Law School retrial of SF blogger Josh Wolf and the coverage of the virtual Burma protests have been shown at conferences and used in classrooms as examples of civic engagement with global reach in virtual environments. In “real life,” Bernhard produces music. He recently wrote the orchestral score for Disney’s German 2008 smash hit “Sommer”.

Nonny de la Peña is a transmedia producer – working as a documentary and machinima filmmaker, journalist and writer. Her work includes two Second Life installations, GONE GITMO and MAUERKRANKHEIT – an Annenberg Public Good Merit Award winner. A former correspondent for Newsweek Magazine, she has written for the New York Times, Premiere Magazine, Texas Monthly, Time Magazine and others. She has also directed and produced four feature length documentary films exploring human rights issues which have been shown on national television and screened at theatres, festivals and special events in more than fifty cities around the globe.


  1. In the Press | Every Human Has Rights Media Awards says:

    November 20th, 2008at 10:09 am(#)

    […] Seconf Life News: Draxtor Despres Report on "Virtual Gitmo" Wins Award […]

  2. Butler Theater Tickets says:

    August 3rd, 2009at 11:25 am(#)

    Congrats on the award. Quite an accomplishment!