Veteran filmmaker and Occupy activist Velcrow Ripper has launched a new app designed to inspire a new breed of Occupy protests.
The app is part of the global release of Mr. Ripper's newest documentary Occupy Love, a film that traces the origins of the Occupy Movement and then explores the thematic relationships between the protests against Wall Street with other global movements such as the Arab Spring and the European Summer.
"The real aim of the Occupy protests," says Mr. Ripper, "goes deeper than politics. I believe that what we were showing out there, in a very new way, was the power of communal and expansive connection, as opposed to individual action. Love unites us, just as greed divides us."
The new app is designed to give worldwide supporters a very public way to express their collective voice for social revolution.
"The question we wanted to answer," said Mr. Ripper, "is 'what do the masses believe in? We wanted to show that while governments and current events present a negative and fractured world, the actual overwhelming desire of the world is love rather than injustice. We want to raise this collective voice, to create a digital protest with a universal message that can't be ignored. This is why we choose the heart -- it is a universal message that you can't deny."
The app FoundLove.com, which is available for free at the Apple Store, lets you upload photos of hearts you find in the world and then add geographical tags and keywords to describe your mood. Heart images can be found anywhere -- shapes in clouds, graffiti hearts, or inspiring messages left in public places. Found Love then shares your photos on a giant real-time "Love Stream," a real-time and fluctuating digital wall of hearts.
Once you upload a photo of a heart, it is sent to the app's cloud-based server that streams the image to other users around your city. Walk past Times Square and you can see photos and tags left by other Found Love users. Or tag a heart image in your neighborhood -- and then look to see if others have found heart images nearby.
Mr. Ripper is best known for his film Scared Sacred, which was named by the Toronto International Film Festival as one of Canada's Top 10 movies of 2004 and winner of the 2005 Genie. Both the app and new documentary build on a common theme in his work: the belief in an underlying positive force possible in the world.
It is this broad message of public love that Mr. Ripper believes will help extend the reach of the Occupy Movement.
"Think back to the start of the Iraq War," said Mr. Ripper. "What if you could look at a map of Baghdad and instead of seeing streets, you saw millions of people uploading messages of love. This is what the app can do. We want to humanize and show that we don’t want war or injustice. We want to create a single, universal massive outpouring of love. This is a digital protest. A public expression that what 99% of people want is connection and love."
You can download Found Love for free at Apple's App Store.
Occupy Love, the accompanying documentary, is being shown in community theatres around the world. To read about the film’s innovative global promotion strategy click here.
For more information, contact the Velcrow Ripper's production team here contact[at]fierceloveproject[dot]org
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