Our friend Shaina from http://bavault.blogspot.com/ has an entry about the upcoming Sarajevo Film Festival.
In those days, Sarajevo was isolated from the outside world; the Festival became its window. Moving pictures could not stop the shooting and shelling, but they helped the citizens of Sarajevo get out of the vicious circle, to see the outside world and, in the same time, to make the world aware of their suffering and struggle in the besieged city. These pictures definitely did not impress politicians, but they did move artists across the world.
~~excerpt from Sarajevo Film Festival, Festival History page
The impact film festivals have on the culture and society of a region are vastly underrated, especially here in America. You must appreciate the deeply symbolic nature of the film festival, i.e, as a tool to promote the healing and education of a people divided by war.
It makes you think the impact of all artists collectively acting within a group to enact change. www.witness.org is an invaluable non-profit that provides video cameras to people in order to record human rights violations. These are documentary style videos meant to bear witness to atrocity.
What if there was an organization of artists that could provide an array of artistic tools (i.e, canvas and paint, cameras, instruments, etc) to help the people express themselves artistically after surviving atrocity. It could change the world. Idealist? That’s an unapologetic ‘yes’. Yet, in every raging river of cynicism, there has to be a pebble of hope.
If anyone has the opportunity to attend, please let me know!