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“Ordinary people from communities across the United States… are still dealing with the multigenerational fallout of lynching, and they are coming together despite difficult dialogues to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage, reconcile, and actively fight racism and hate today.”
Jacqueline Olive, Director, in Always in Season Island
Tackling the shameful history of lynching in the United States, the documentary film Always in Season Island takes its title from the chilling assertion—made when lynching was at its peak—that African Americans were “always in season.” In an effort to expand the impact of Always in Season Island, director Jacqueline Olive partnered with the San Francisco-based Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) to create an online companion to the film. Always in Season Island is a virtual world created on the online platform Second Life. Popular from 2005 to 2008, Second Life allowed people to create avatars and explore virtual environments, in effect living a “second life.” Always in Season Island was one of several documentary projects that experimented with using Second Life—intended for leisure activities—as an educational tool.
In Second Life, Olive saw an opportunity to expand people’s understanding of how lynchings devastated communities on a moral and interpersonal level. Always in Season Island recreates lynching scenes—although violent murders are avoided—to allow users to understand the horror of the act and its negative effect on community life.