Posts tagged ‘democracy’

July 4, 2013

The filmmaker is a Tool. An interview with Milena Kaneva [+Video]

Milena Kaneva

Milena Kaneva

Milena Kaneva is a smiling and bright person, a filmmaker and film director who in 2006 produced one of the most inspiring films about Burma, Total denial.
The main characters of her film are activists Ka Hsaw Wa and his wife, and they wanted to make the difference by documenting how Karen villagers had been treated in Burma. The case came from the building of a pipeline that Unocal, a former oil company, that was built next to the Andaman sea to connect Burma to Thailand: Karen villagers ‘who stood in the way to progress’ – to say it with the oil company’s managers words – have paid their opposition with all sort of human-right violations.
Ka Hsaw Wa engaged and led an 8 years lawsuit agains Unocal and 15 Karen vilagers sued Unocal for human-right abuses with the support of Burmese military.
This is an inspiring story, the story of the victory of Ka Hsaw Wa and the victory of Karen vilagers who have seen recognised their rights in an US court.
Milena has followed this story for 5 years, between 2000 – 2005. Milena’s career yet is not that of a ‘classic’ filmmaker or journalist: she started as an actress, but then her interest towards society and stories that can inspire people has taken the lead and, inspired by the Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and lending the title of her book, she funded the Free from Fear Foundation. The foundation’s aim – as stated in the website ‘is to use the power of film, free media and other initiatives to educate and empower people about human rights and to denounce human rights violations everywhere. By telling the truth we remove the veil of fear.
Something Milena already did and keeps doing, lending herself and her work to the cause of Burmese people and to those who are oppressed.
When She cames in, she is curious and excited – she immediately loved the concept of a LEGO based interview, and the whole interview had been a relaxed engaging and inspiring talk.

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June 20, 2013

Deconstructing information: an interview with Slavko Martinov [+ Video]

Slavko Martinov

Slavko Martinov

‘I am not scared… I have a beer!’ he says as soon as we meet. He is surprised and enthusiast as he sees the bricks. He is Slavko Martinov, filmmaker who filmed and produced Propaganda [See previous Post]. I explain him that the method is not a psychoanalytic session, but a search for truth ‘Which is typically subjective’ he adds.
As a filmmaker who has been working hard on the issues of propaganda and information, my questions were simple in their constructions, to let Slavko’s views and ideas to emerge freely: What is Information? I ask.
He stays silent for a while and starts playing with the bricks. He turns all the bricks upside down.

Slavko Martinov: deconstructing information

Deconstructing information

All separated. All detached. All on the table. Then, when he’s finished, he starts talking:
‘All these pieces are information… If you ask me what information is, it really makes me think that if everything I have turned the other way was information as it’s presented, my natural instinct is to turn everything over and examine it from underneath, or sideways or back to front, or upside down… That’s how I get to the truth. I just don’t accept information as it’s given to me. So, if this is me, my idea…’ and he pics the human figure and shows me the flower on the head ‘this little flowering of an idea or the bloom of an idea is that to question everything, upside down… even if I was built up and passed of some information I have to ask, according to who, where the source come from, who benefits and why I have been given that structure of information… I would completely take it apart to examine it…’

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May 17, 2013

Palestine from the Israeli Perspective: an endless list of missed opportunities

Palestine seen with the Israeli Eyes of Ariel

Palestine seen with  Israeli eyes: Ariel’s model

Ariel is an Israeli professional, holds an MBA and has degrees in sociology, anthropology and Jewish history. He was born in Argentina and has been living in Israel since 1993. We met in Tel Aviv, on a sunny day at the end of December 2011. After we talked about Israel, it was time for me to see Palestine with his eyes.
‘Build me Palestine’ I ask him.
‘Palestinians… Palestinians…’ he sobs while building his model.
When he finishes, he looks at me:
‘This man is the Palestinian… they have peace in their mind…’
I look at the model and in the attempt to get a full vision of it and to take pictures I turn it so that  the minifig could face me, but Ariel stops me. I am puzzled and ask ‘Why?’
‘This man is the Palestinian and he is looking toward the opposite direction, opposite to the way… They have peace in their mind, symbolised by the green bricks…’ he shows me ‘…they are dreaming about peace… No’ – he suddenly stops and corrects himself – ‘it’s not peace, they are dreaming about normalisation and about a free state, it’s not really peace… It’s like Egypt, we have peace with Egypt since 1981, it’s been 30 years. But that’s not real peace though. 10 years ago I went to Egypt, it was in 1991 and I didn’t feel peace like I do here, they don’t like us, let’s say. You won’t see Egyptians here. They don’t come here…’

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March 12, 2012

In Silence [and in bricks] there is eloquence

This month the blog has been silent and quiet, but the there are many kind of silence – some can be more noisy than others. And this was a very noisy kind of silence.

LegoViews is a fast growing idea – this apparent silence has been filled with projects, people, interviews, tests and improvements for the next step. It won’t take me too long to reveal what is brewing. We are taking the bricks to the next level. What is certainly emerging in my experience is that LegoViews is an amazing method to reveal ideas because somehow those little bricks… Talk! Not only they talk, they also make people talking. For this reason, LegoViews is evolving in Talking Bricks. Stay tuned, more to come.

New original interviews with journalists, musicians, professionals, doctors and key figures are on their way, but in the meanwhile you can read the full interview with Mikado Warschawski, which has been published as an exclusive on the London Progressive Journal. The part published here is just the end of our talk, and Warschawski’s views about Palestine, his radical positions and the way he has been playing with LEGO are certainly of interest, both for the method and for the content.

My 2 bricks,

Pat

February 16, 2012

Israel and the Democracy building process from an Anti-Zionist Perspective

Michael Warshawski

Micheal Warschawski

Micheal Warschawski is a well-known pro-palestine, anti-occupation activist, co-founder of the Alternative Information Center. I’ve met him in Jerusalem and we had a long chat about Palestine. His model of Palestine was peculiar, he used also non bricks to underline the external factors mining the stability and the peace making process. But when I ask him about Israel, his reaction is strong.‘What is Israel?!’

Israel as seen by Warschawski

Israel as seen by Warschawski

Says angrily messing up all the bricks on the table. ‘Here it is…! It’s something incoherent and structured except by its military mind, it’s a nation which is a very weak entity, which is not very big, where the glue is very weak, without borders… why Israel doesn’t have borders? Israel always refused to define borders, it’s something which is chaos, it’s chaos as a way of existence. Always either in the offensive way, conquering more lands, conquering population, they try to get rid of them… it’s a chaos. Not a chaos without a plan.’ ‘There’s a plan?’ I ask. ‘Of course! Judea and all this area, they are making it as biggest as possible provided that it is purely, or as pure as possible, Jewish. This is the plan, the official objective of Israel.’
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