3 min readDec 21, 2023


CAN ART STOP WAR? by Gerry Fialka

CAN ART STOP WAR? by Gerry Fialka

I’d be grateful for any ideas about presenting this salon in your area.

Thanks for your dedication to art, film and activism.

Gerry Fialka

CAN ART STOP WAR? Sidney Lumet said “Film can’t do diddly-squat, but it’s not going to keep me from trying.” Harry Smith proclaimed, “I saw America changed through music.”

In the tradition of Ann Arbor Film Festival founder and peace activist, George Manupelli, please consider this presentation.

“Wars are always wars against children. In every war, unforgivable numbers of children die.” — Howard Zinn.

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DREAM AWAKE — HOW JAMES JOYCE INVENTED POLITICAL ACTIVISM CINEMA & DISGUISED IT AS A BOOK — Gerry Fialka’s interactive salon probes how Joyce’s 1939 book FINNEGANS WAKE (and Marshall McLuhan’s Menippean satirized translation of it) presaged political activist cinema. Explore how the WAKE resonates with ground-breaking documentaries like Battle of Algiers, and The Day After Trinity, who’s maker Jon Else recently appeared on Fialka’s podcast.

Delve deep into how the WAKE propagates peace (NOT WAR) ala Marija Gimbutas, who upholds goddess-centered societies by honoring women and espousing economic equality.

“Fialka brings his own distinctive approach. My phone interview with him lasted one hour and eight minutes, and its zigs, zags and sheer velocity were unmatched in my nearly 20-year journalism career. Was I writing about Finnegans Wake, or was I suddenly inside it?”- Lois Beckett, The Guardian 11–12–23

and see below — CBS EVENING NEWS, NPR, NEW YORK TIMES and lots more.

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Explore questions like:

“You can’t dismantle the masters house using the masters tools.” — Audre Lorde. Yvonne Rainer responded “You can, if you expose the tools.” What new tool do you suggest?

Jean-Luc Godard told Michael Moore that his film Fahrenheit 9/11 was going to help Bush get elected. With the slew of political documentaries over recent years, do they more activate or more passive?

How do we stop our governments from going to war? Filmmaking? Art? Music? Activism?


“In the year 2024 the most important single thing which the cinema will have helped in a large way to accomplish will be that of eliminating from the face of the civilized world all armed conflict. Pictures will be the most powerful factor in bringing about this condition. With the use of the universal language of moving pictures the true meaning of the brotherhood of man will have been established throughout the earth.” — D.W. Griffith.

“World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.” — Marshall McLuhan, 1970.

Augusto Boal & Paulo Freire (The Theater of the Oppressed), who use theater as a means of promoting social and political change. The audience becomes active (“spect-actors”) and explore, show, analyze and transform the reality in which they are living.

How & why does the WAKE tell the history of everything that ever happened and will happen? How and why did Joyce anticipate the Facebook-Google-Wiki-Twitter-YouTube-ChatBot-AI-Blogosphere sensory overload swirl, and whatever comes after the Internet? Joyce invented Zoom and disguised it as a book. McLuhan declared it the “greatest guide to the media ever devised on this planet.” Reading the WAKE out loud with a group of people can help develop media literacy, and explore the hidden psyche effects of political films, and the dominant narrative.

Cosmic scholar Harry Smith, who claimed Giordano Bruno invented cinema, stated that the function of film viewing is to put people to sleep — dreaming awake. All you Finnegans . . . wake up!

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DREAM AWAKE by Gerry Fialka

Learn more:

CBS Evening News and more

“Any presentation of Fialka’s work is guaranteed to rate as a mind-bending affair … a veritable stampede of theoretical acrobatics and sociocultural redefinition, all delivered through the singular prism of Fialka’s self-defined prime directive: ‘exploration of the hidden psyche effects of human inventions’ … sure to set your cerebellum a-rattle.” — Jonny Whiteside LA Weekly.