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Cultures of Resistance Movie DebutsSalem-News.com
As an activist, Iara has collaborated with numerous grassroots efforts
(NEW YORK) - The Cultures of Resistance feature documentary is rolling out this month across the United States, with premiere screenings in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles.
Does each gesture really make a difference? Can music and dance be weapons of peace? In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, director Iara Lee embarked on a journey to better understand a world increasingly embroiled in conflict and, as she saw it, heading for self-destruction. After several years, travelling over five continents, Iara encountered growing numbers of people who committed their lives to promoting change. This is their story. From IRAN, where graffiti and rap became tools in fighting government repression, to BURMA, where monks acting in the tradition of Gandhi take on a dictatorship, moving on to BRAZIL, where musicians reach out to slum kids and transform guns into guitars, and ending in PALESTINIAN refugee camps in LEBANON, where photography, music, and film have given a voice to those rarely heard, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE explores how art and creativity can be ammunition in the battle for peace and justice.
Featuring: Medellín poets for peace, Capoeira masters from Brazil, Niger Delta militants, Iranian graffiti artists, women’s movement leaders in Rwanda, Lebanon’s refugee filmmakers, U.S. political pranksters, indigenous Kayapó activists from the Xingu River, Israeli dissidents, hip-hop artists from Palestine, and many more...
Director Iara Lee
Iara Lee, a Brazilian of Korean descent, is an activist, filmmaker, and founder of the Caipirinha Foundation, which supports projects to secure peace with justice. Iara is currently working on a variety of initiatives, grouped under the umbrella of CULTURES OF RESISTANCE, an activist network that brings together artists and changemakers from around the world.
As an activist, Iara has collaborated with numerous grassroots efforts, including the International Campaign to Ban Cluster Munitions, the Conflict Zone Film Fund, and the New York Philharmonic's groundbreaking 2008 concert in North Korea.
From 1984 to 1989 Iara was the producer of the Sao Paulo International Film Festival. In 1989 she moved to New York City, where she founded the mixed-media company Caipirinha Productions to explore the synergy of different art forms (such as film, music, architecture, and poetry). Under the banner of Caipirinha Productions, Iara has directed short and feature-length documentaries including Synthetic Pleasures, Modulations, Architettura, and Beneath the Borqa. She has also organized lectures, photo exhibits, and fundraising events related to these initiatives.
Iara Lee is a member of the President's Council of The International Crisis Group (ICG) and the Council of Advisors of the National Geographic Society, as well as a trustee to the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), North Korea's first and only university whose faculty will be entirely composed of international professors.
People in the Film
CULTURES OF RESISTANCE does not focus on one place in the world where a military unit or private corporation is violating a group of people’s human rights. Instead, the film looks at conflicts all over the world and seeks out artists who devote their work to fighting injustice and violence.
Medellín, Colombia, a city once notorious for drug violence, is reinventing itself as a world center for the living word. We attend the Medellín International Poetry Festival, which has been instrumental to this transformation by bringing the work of poets committed to promoting peace and social justice to the wider public. Founded in 1991, when the streets of Medellín were at their worst, organizers envisioned the festival as a form of artistic resistance against injustice and terrorism at the hands of drug cartels and the military. Over the years the festival has brought 1,000 poets from over 140 countries to Colombia and in 2006 received a Right Livelihood Award, widely known as "The Alternative Nobel Peace Prize.
Iranian Graffiti Artists
Rwandan Women Leadership
Brazilian Favela Photographer
Lebanon’s Refugee Filmmakers
We travel to the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, where the Brazilian government has for decades pushed for the construction of the so-called Belo Monte dam. If built, it would be the world’s third largest dam and would displace many thousands of the region’s residents. During our visit we encountered an uprising of over 1,000 people from various indigenous communities who were joined by national and international supporters to express their unequivocal opposition to the project. Today, their resistance remains as unified as ever.
Hip-Hop Artists from Palestine
Monks of the Saffron Revolution
This is only a handful of the inspiring artists who appear in the movie. You can see them and many more perform their music and explain what motivates their work in CULTURES OF RESISTANCE.
Learn more, visit: Cultures of Resistance
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