Stepping into the Future:
New Documentary Film and Big Plans for BA Everywhere

October 14, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


Step into the future ... a future people would actually want to be in... a future that really could be.

For an evening, on April 11, 2011, hundreds of people joined in a thrilling taste of revolutionary possibility at Harlem Stage in NYC. BAsics from the talks and writings of Bob Avakianthe handbook for revolution in the twenty-first century—had just been published (and today is in its second printing). To mark the occasion, musicians, dancers, poets, actors, visual artists, came together with revolutionaries and activists from the 1960s down to today for a cultural event titled: "On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World."

Harlem Stage soared with revolutionary joy as hundreds of people, young and old, of different backgrounds and diverse political viewpoints were taken on a journey: lifted off their feet and touched to their cores as they traveled through the night of jazz, funk, soul, rock, poetry, dance, theatrical readings, and visual arts all woven together with deep revolutionary insight from archival film of Bob Avakian, readings from his BAsics, and commentary from voices who have been on the front lines for decades. As Revolution newspaper wrote at that time: "All of it aching for, giving voice to, and infused with the possibility of a radically different world than the maddening planet we live on now."

Get to know BA!

Because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experience of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward — there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal.

This November, the story of this night— the reflections of the artists and participants: what inspired them, their hopes and dreams—is coming to the screen in a new documentary film: STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE; On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World. In one hour and 15 minutes you feel and understand the depth of transformation that can take place when the revolutionary vision and framework developed by Bob Avakian which is concentrated in BAsics sets the stage—here for an evening—yet foreshadowing the potential for a whole new world. Featuring tastes of the performances at Harlem Stage, the urgency and uplift of the night comes through a compelling narrative of the deep concerns of the artists and presenters about the horrific state of today's world, the lies and the crimes of America, the import they see in revolution and in BA's voice being out on the scene—why that matters and their hopes for what this could mean for the future of humanity.

For people who have never seen or experienced Bob Avakian and the impact of his words, this film is an inspiring introduction. In the documentary, the jazz composer and musician Matthew Shipp comments: "Avakian talks a lot about revolutionaries having a poetic imagination, so it was really good to see that idea within the context of an event that has to do with the political or philosophical idealism of revolution." After a screening of a rough cut of the film, a couple of artists were discussing how the film makes you recognize the brainwash of this culture and society and not just wish you had been there on April 11, but impels you to want to find out more about this revolution and BA.

What could be more timely at a juncture when the world is roiling with reactionary governments and movements, when it reeks from a putrid culture, and is imperiled by the prospect of the destruction of the planet we live on? At a cultural moment when those films and novels that do envision the future typically project a dystopian world (e.g.: Elysium, Hunger Games, Mad Max)—which is where the world is heading absent radical fundamental change—think of what an inspiration and difference a radically new culture as part of a new revolutionary society and the movement to bring it into being means. STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE makes that real.

Plans are afoot for breaking STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE ... out into the world. During the first week of December there will be important widely publicized Opening Celebrations that premiere the film in Los Angeles and New York City, featuring some of the artists, presenters, creators of the film. At the same time, it will be shown in publicized showings in other cities around the country.

From mid-October through November, there will be a "soft launch" release of the film to build up to the celebratory opening screenings. The DVD of the documentary will be available for sale in early November. It will be part of a major BA Everywhere Holiday Sale running through the end of the year that will include the foundational works of Bob Avakian, as well as other items to support the campaign to get BA—everywhere. When the DVD of STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE .... comes out, Revolution Books and/or BA Everywhere Committees should sponsor dinners that show the film, plan for its opening, and especially get into and plan for major fundraising for BA Everywhere throughout the months of November and December. Also, in mid-October there will be pre-release copies of the film available for private showings for fundraising meetings and salons for the BA Everywhere Campaign. An important part of the "soft launch" will be utilizing the pre-release copies to involve and enlist people to work on the promotion of the film, setting up screenings, and broad publicity. This film in its own right, and especially in the context of wide promotion and popularization of BA, BAsics, and the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live, has the potential to make a huge difference in opening up a new positive radical and revolutionary trend in the political and cultural terrain. But that will take people—contributing funds and being a part of the movement to spread this.

Plans are still being developed but without doubt there is enormous potential for this documentary to be widely shown on campuses, in film schools, in art, performance and cultural centers, as well as in independent movie houses and as things develop way out in the world through different forms of internet and/or cable broadcast.

BA Everywhere—Imagine the Difference It Could Make
Raising big funds for big impact so that BA is known to everyone

STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE; On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World is but one part of stepping up to fill a great need to break open the possibility for millions of people so that they can know there is a revolutionary way out of the horrors of the world that is concentrated in the leadership of Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism he has forged.

This fall, especially in the months of November and December, all who really want to do something to go up against all the outrageous crimes of the imperialist world today, all who yearn for there to be a radically different and better future, should join in going all out this holiday season to involve lots of people in raising the kind of big money needed to project BA way out in the world, making BA a household name so that this revolution is known far and wide—what's it about and what it's for.

Everywhere you look—from the Mideast to North Africa; to the U.S. government shutdown spearheaded by virulent fascist forces busting a move while their imperialist opposites in the Democratic Party conciliate while carrying out an overall program of brutal repression and suppression of people here and around the world; the poisoning of the whole planet—the great need for revolutionary change cries out.

This system is not, can not, and will not produce anything other than misery for the majority of the world's people while endangering the future for everyone. The very acute problems and crises that their system is caught in also hold the potential for a positive revolutionary resolution. There is another way the world could be. And that is concentrated in the vision and framework of BA's new synthesis of communism. There is an urgent need to make this known now. To put before the world the only real alternative to the capitalist/imperialist system.

The campaign to project BA's leadership and the new synthesis of communism to the world is called BA Everywhere for good reason. There needs to be a contending viable vision and plan that is arrayed up against the killing program and oppressive reality that people are living. To break people out of thinking in that old system way, for people to see through and beyond the band-aid programs of social welfare and NGO charity there must be an alternative that is known throughout society, that is a point of reference, a fulcrum of controversy and debate, and around which a serious movement for revolution is being built. This will shape what people see is possible, changing the dynamics of everything.

For BA to be known everywhere, to have societal impact, requires big money. Now is the time to build on all the publicity and work that this campaign has done over the last two years and go all out this November and December to raise those funds—not only for one or another project to promote BA—but to realize the full vision of putting BA and what he has brought forward before all.

Teams should be getting out the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live—selling the DVD, sitting down and watching and discussing the whole film with people. The film should be shown in libraries, schools and community centers while work is undertaken for even more significant showings and popularization in the months ahead. At the same time, BAsics needs to get out on a whole other level. We are beginning the sale of the second printing of 10,000 copies of BAsics, which in turn should inspire many thousands to get their copy. Together BA Speaks... and BAsics provide the foundation and the introduction to what people need to change the world.

At its core, BA Everywhere is a multi-dimensional fundraising campaign among all strata. Now is the time to form teams of fundraisers, to plan fundraising activities among those who catch hell the hardest from this system. Now is the time to set up appointments, meetings, and house parties with professors and professionals; now especially is the time to be going out to events and places to seek to meet really wealthy people who can contribute the level of funds to make a societal impact. There is a new correspondence on the website that grapples with the basis to raise really large sums of money from among the wealthiest people. The letter makes the point that these people live in the same world as everyone else with all its horrors and the dangers—and that many are moved to do something about it. But, most of what their large scale philanthropy contributes to now either does great harm—such as contributing to the Democrats—or offers some relief to a few people while the system crushes lives and spirits around the world.

With BA Everywhere we are giving people of all strata an opportunity to make the biggest difference that could be. This is about changing the face of everything. There is nothing more ambitious and nothing more real—if you want a world that is fit for humanity and all the species that live on it.

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