Cultures of Resistance (CoR)

organization

Overview

  • Created by documentary filmmaker Iara Lee and her husband George Gund III
  • Centered around the feature documentary film Cultures of Resistance, directed by Iara Lee and produced by George Gund III
  • Supports the Free Gaza Movement

Cultures of Resistance (CoR) is an online activist network focused on “peace and global justice issues”; it is also the title of a 2010 feature documentary produced under the aegis of CoR. The organization took its present name in 2010, prior to which it had been known as the Caipirinha Foundation (created by documentary filmmaker Iara Lee and her husband George Gund III). In the tradition of Caipirinha, CoP awards monetary grants to numerous left-wing groups and causes.

The CoR network consists of four major projects whose names are variants of the 1960s anti-war slogan, “Make Love Not War”:

  1. Make Art Not War: “As one of the most powerful mediums of our time, film has been and continues to be used as a tool for opposing war, promoting peace with justice, and building international understanding.”
  2. Sustainability Not War: “A profound shift to an agriculture based on fossil fuels swept much of the world starting in the 1950s…. While this has made possible an unprecedented cornucopia of food options for western consumers, it is also now a major cause of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming…. With climate change the most serious environmental crisis facing us today, reforming the way we produce and distribute food is critical.”
  3. Human Rights Not War: “For many years, the Cultures of Resistance Network has been committed to the movement for Palestinians’ right to self-determination…. [E]ven the U.S. State Department now acknowledges that Israeli authorities practice ‘institutional and societal discrimination’ against Palestinians. U.S. officials cite human rights abuses including ‘excessive use of force against civilians, including killings; abuse of Palestinian detainees, particularly during arrest and interrogation; austere and overcrowded detention facilities; improper use of security detention procedures; demolition and confiscation of Palestinian property; limitations on freedom of expression, assembly, and association; and severe restrictions on Palestinians’ internal and external freedom of movement.'”
  4. Education Not War: “Expanding access to education is at the core of the Cultures of Resistance Network’s vision for change…. Particularly in contexts where power is concentrated in the hands of the few, or where war has shaken the foundations of society and government, education fosters the critical analysis and technical skills that are needed to bring about political change.” This CoR project promotes, among other things, the work of the late Marxist historian Howard Zinn.

The 2010 CoR documentary titled Cultures of Resistance includes Iara Lee’s film footage of the infamous May 2010 incident involving the Mavi Marmara, a Free Gaza Movement (FGM) flotilla ship whose crew and passengers (one of whom was Lee) provoked a violent and deadly confrontation at sea with Israeli commandos. While condemning what Lee has depicted as Israel’s “indefensible” actions, Cultures of Resistance lauds the respective efforts of:

  • Jeff Halper, spokesman for the International Solidarity Movement and founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions;
  • The Zakira Photo Project, a Lebanese filmmaking group which Lee says “make[s] visible what life is like for Palestinian refugees”;
  • The Medellin International Poetry Festival, which spotlights “the work of poets committed to promoting peace and social justice”;
  • Brazilian photographer of slum life Andre Cypriano, whose images of poverty are popular among leftists and earned him an award from the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography in 1998;
  • The Yes Men, a team of socialist, anti-globalization activists; and
  • Katibe 5, a Palestinian hip-hop group composed of revolutionary Marxists who admire the writings of Frantz Fanon and Che Guevara.

Noteworthy recipients of CoR monetary grants since 2010 include the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, the Alliance for Global JusticeAmerican Near East Refugee AidAmnesty International, the Center for Constitutional RightsCode PinkDemocracy Now Productions, the Feminist Majority FoundationFood First (a.k.a. the Institute for Food & Development Policy), Friends Of the EarthGlobal ExchangeGrassroots International, the Greenpeace Fund, Human Rights Watch, the Institute for Policy Studies, the Institute for Public Accuracy, Jewish Voice for Peace, MADRE, Make the Road New York, the Middle East Children’s Alliance, the National Priorities Project, the New Israel Fund, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, the Sierra Club Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Zakat Foundation.

A notable admirer of Cultures of Resistance is Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink.

Further Reading: Synopses of Make Art Not WarSustainability Not WarHuman Rights Not War, and Education Not War.

(COR grant information was provided by the Foundation Center.)

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