Wednesday, August 8, 2012

EVENEMENT: Rencontre avec Iara Lee

Projection du dernier documentaire de Iara Lee suivie d’une rencontre avec la réalisatrice et présence de la camerawoman Sabah Haider.
Présentation de Cultures of Resistance


[ENG] Over a year later, with thousands dead and counting, the ongoing conflict in Syria has become a microcosm for the complicated politics of the region, and an unsavory reflection of the world at large. Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, NATO’s toppling of Moammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the complicated politics of the region, this film seeks to explore the Syrian conflict through the humanity of the civilians who have been killed, abused, and displaced to the squalor of refugee camps. In all such conflicts, large and small, it is civilians—women and children, families and whole communities—who suffer at the leisure of those in power. While focusing on the plight of those caught in the crossfire of the hegemons, we seek to unravel the conflict by exploring the motivations of its actors—the Ba’athist regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Free Syrian Army and other geopolitical players like the United States, Israel, Russia, China, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, the Gulf countries... When elephants go to war, it is the grass that suffers. This is a film about the elephants, but made for the grasses.

[FR] Plus d’un an après avoir éclaté, avec ses milliers de morts et la liste qui continue de s’allonger, le conflit civil se poursuit en Syrie, microcosme de la situation politique embrouillée de la région et reflet peu engageant du monde dans son ensemble. Ce film cherche à explorer le conflit syrien en examinant la condition humaine des populations civiles qui se font tuer, maltraiter, et se retrouvent chassées et confrontées à la misère des camps de réfugiés avec, en toile de fond, le Printemps arabe, le renversement par l’OTAN de Mouammar Kadhafi en Lybie et une situation régionale confuse. Dans tout conflit de ce genre, petit et grand, ce sont les civils qui souffrent – femmes et enfants, familles et communautés entières se retrouvent soumis à l’arbitraire de ceux qui accaparent le pouvoir. Tout en nous concentrant sur le sort de ceux qui sont pris sous les feux croisés des tout-puissants, nous tentons de démêler les raisons du conflit en explorant les motivations de ses acteurs – le régime baasiste de Bachar al-Assad, l’Armée syrienne libre, et les divers acteurs du jeu géopolitique, Etats-Unis, Israël, Russie, Chine, Iran, Liban, Turquie, pays du Golfe… Quand les éléphants vont en guerre, c'est l'herbe qui souffre. Il s’agit d’un film sur les éléphants, mais destiné aux herbes.


Iara Lee, a Brazilian of Korean descent, is an activist, filmmaker, and founder of CULTURES OF RESISTANCE NETWORK, an organization that promotes global solidarity and supports peace with justice projects. Iara is currently working on a variety of initiatives that brings together artists and changemakers from around the world. At the center of these initiatives is a feature-length documentary film entitled CULTURES OF RESISTANCE, which explores how creative action contributes to conflict prevention and resolution.

As an activist, Iara has collaborated with numerous grassroots efforts, including the International Campaign to Ban Cluster Munitions, the New York Philharmonic’s groundbreaking 2008 music-for-diplomacy concert in North Korea and creative resistance projects in Iran, Lebanon, Palestine. In May 2010, Iara was a passenger on the MV Mavi Marmara, a passenger vessel in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla which was attacked in international waters by the Israeli navy, leading to the murder of nine humanitarian aid workers. Among the many people who recorded the events on that ship, her crew was the only one to successfully hide and retain most of the raid footage, which she later released to the world after a screening at the UN. Iara is very dedicated to the support of Gazan civilians who have been victims of war crimes committed by the Israeli military during “Operation Cast Lead” and who suffer from the Israeli government’s ongoing acts of collective punishment.

At the onset of the Iraq war in 2003, Iara, eager to understand the conflict better, decided to travel and live in the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa). While residing in Lebanon in 2006, Iara experienced firsthand the 34-day Israeli bombardment of that country. Since then, moved by that experience, she has dedicated herself to the pursuit of a just peace in the region, and is an enthusiastic supporter of those initiatives which strengthen adherence to international law in enforcing human rights. In 2008 Iara lived in Iran and supported a number of cultural exchange projects between that country and the West with the goal of promoting arts & culture for global solidarity.

From 1984 to 1989 Iara was the producer of the Sao Paulo International Film Festival. From 1989-2003 she was based in New York City, where she ran the mixed-media company Caipirinha Productions to explore the synergy of different art forms (such as film, music, architecture, and poetry). Under that banner, Iara has directed short and feature-length documentaries including Synthetic Pleasures, Modulations, Architettura, and Beneath the Borqa.

Iara is a member of the Council of Advisors of National Geographic Society and The International Crisis Group (ICG), long time supporter of Greenpeace International, as well as a trustee to the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), North Korea’s first and only university whose faculty is composed of international professors.

Cultures of Resistance (CoR) is the name of both a feature documentary and an activist network. This website,, exists as an outreach site through which people inspired by the film can find ways to get involved around peace and global justice issues

"Worldwide, people from all walks of life are finding creative ways to oppose war and promote peace, justice, and sustainability. Culture—including film, music, and food—is fertile terrain for this struggle. Education that nourishes a critical mind and fortifies the soul is just as essential.”

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