Monday, March 26, 2012

Cultures of Resistance

“There are two super powers in the world: The United States and Global Public Opinion.”

I just finished watching a documentary called Cultures of Resistance. It has been a movie that I have wanted to look into for a while and I finally was able to watch it. The interesting thing is that Promo Jeune Basket is actually supported by the organization that made the documentary. The organization is now called Cultures of Resistance, but was formerly known as the Caipirinha foundation.

My copy of the documentary had no subtitles, and it is filmed all over the world in different languages. Though I could not understand the words of a lot of the stories, the message was definitely transmitted to me in the strongest way. The message and focus of the movie is the message that we as humans can resist in ways other than violence and war. When there is iniquity and struggle the strongest form of resistance in the human spirit comes from passion and love, not anger and hatred. Violence and war are forms of resistance stemming from hatred and anger. Art, poetry, music, dance, photography and the celebration of the human spirit are forms of resistance that are driven by passion and love. This movie celebrates the latter.

The documentary addresses so many different struggles in the world that I could spend all day writing about each one. The struggles include those in Palestine, Liberia, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Iran, and even the DRC just to name a few. Though I am familiar with most of the struggles, I just want to focus on the overall message that I took from the movie. What is stuck in my mind now is the strength that we as human beings attain through resisting, through saying no to atrocities such as war, and how that strength must be the driving force in leading us into the future.

This strength, this force of resistance is what we saw in the recent Arab spring. Though in some cases it resorted to violence, we watched a resistance take place. This resistance wasn’t one of violence though, it was one driven by public opinion and desire to see a better life for each and every person. The resistance of the people in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and the many other countries standing up against the inequality in their countries was nothing less than inspirational to me.

War leads us down a path to death and destruction. Near the end of the movie they begin to mention the World Peace Day in 2003 when the largest global movement of people (almost 15 million) was recorded in the streets of various cities around the world. They mention a New York Times article where the author wrote, “There are once again two super powers in the world: The United States and global public opinion.” A very powerful message coming from that time period for sure as the United States really represented war as they moved into Iraq and continued fighting in Afghanistan. Though I could go in many different directions with that quote (and rant for hours and hours) I interpret that quote as, “There are two super powers in the world: War and Public Opinion.”

It is the spirit of humans that guide the world into a happy and prosperous future, and public opinion is the mark that the human spirit sets itself within society. So there are two super powers in this world today. One super power is that which we see too often (and is gloried too much within too may cultures) is war, which will eventually end up destroying the world. War has never brought anything good upon the world. The other super power is one that is coming to life in as uncontrollable and immovable movement to make the world a better place and that is global public opinion. This film again is a remarkable document of the way the people of the world are standing up against war and conflict to make the world a better place. It is a film celebrating life, which is the focus of public opinion, and denouncing destruction, which is the focus of war and conflict.

To see what Cultures of Resistance is about go visit,, and you can see clips from the movie. You can also see the mini feature that they did on my organization, Promo Jeune Basket. I don’t really know how to portray my thoughts right now except through writing, so while watching the movie I wrote this poem:

Got your face in the pillow you cant breath
You kick and kick and kick but no one can hear you scream
thinking to yourself does anyone care
look around and see that no one is there
stand up to look further You can taste the fresh air
no one is in sight but the air is pristine

your lips begin to move and the truth comes out
look down see millions with their face in the pillow trying to shout
what is it keeping them with their face down?
you begin to yell “with love we swim with war we drown”
Yell and yell and yell until there is no other sound
the kicking ceases as the people take your words into account

Some stand up just to raise their fist
One by one I see the people resist
One by one the crowd begins to multiply
No longer will they lay down and just die
Instead stand and let the truth be their guide
You can feel the movement in your midst

The movement takes form led by the youth
A young boy sheds his bullet-proof
Drops his piece as a symbol peace
Begins dribbling his ball up and down the streets
A young girl takes her pen and writes what she sees
A movement of the young revealing the truth

No longer are our faces down in the pillow
People took the choice to stand and grow
But it wasn’t the kicking and screaming that got us out
It was the realization that love is what life is about
One person inspired many to stand and flout
This is the resistance our culture will show

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