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But the film itself is just the beginning. “Cultures of Resistance” is a new activist brand that Lee and Gund are trying to launch. At CulturesofRestiance.org Lee presents a compilation of her activist interests and resources for the film’s viewers to utilize in their own efforts. “Cultures of Resistance” consists of four different projects, each playing off the 1960s anti-war slogan “Make love, not war.”
“Make Films Not War” is the rebranding of the Lee and Gund foundation’s Conflict Zone Film Fund, a program which offers grants of $10,000 to radical filmmakers.
“Make Music Not War” is a new program in which music videos of leftist musicians are produced and information about Middle Eastern countries’ musical traditions are presented. (Caipirinha Productions, the forerunner to the Caipirinha Foundation, was Caipirinha Music during the late ‘90s.) Two of the featured musicians are Palestinian MC Shadia Mansour and Iraqi rapper Lowkey who toured with holocaust denier (and “Cultures of Resistance” ally) Norman Finkelstein on his last book tour. Lee recently indicated on her Facebook page that Finkelstein would be joining her on the flotilla at the end of June 2011 to again try to disrupt Israel’s navy blockade of Gaza.
“Make Food Not War” is an educational program promoting “food justice.” (The name is reminiscent of – and likely inspired by – the anti-war group Food Not Bombs which Lee and Gund have donated to through the Capiriniha Foundation.)
Cultures of Resistance is honored to highlight the educational efforts of Voices of a People’s History of the United States and the Zinn Education Project. These efforts are powerful tributes to Howard Zinn’s legacy and will help to spread the belief that–in the words of activist Marian Wright Edelman, a former student of Professor Zinn– democracy is not a spectator sport.
In 2009 the Caipriniha Foundation supported the Zinn Education Project with a $5,000 donation.
Lee and Gund’s patronage of those carrying on the troubling legacy of Zinn reveals a deeper root in their intellectual tradition. A People’s History of the United States of America is the forerunner of the style of Lee’s films. In a footnote-free text the book jumps throughout American history from 1492 to the present day, never focusing anywhere long enough to come to conclusions that might disrupt the author’s simple, proletariat vs bourgeoisie narrative. “Cultures of Resistance” is similarly superficial and more concerned with championing a political — and violent — ideology than documenting reality.
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