News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF/FERHAT ARSLAN/BATMAN) Various celebrations are being held around Kurdistan to remember Halil (Dağ) Uysal on the anniversary of his death six years ago. He was a well known and respected filmmaker who spent more than a decade documenting the lives of Kurdish guerillas.Halil İbrahim Uysal was born in Germany in 1973 and first came to the mountains of Kurdistan in 1995 in order to make a documentary film on the lives of Kurdish guerillas. Uysal decided to remain in the mountains and join the ranks of the guerillas, with whom he lived until his death – together with three other comrades – in a Turkish military ambush in 2008.
Uysal became famous for his films, photography, and articles which documented the lives of the guerillas. He was a witness to some of the most violent periods of the conflict and captured numerous clashes between the PKK and the Turkish army. In addition to being a documentary filmmaker he also worked as a war reporter, and his footage of a the PKK shooting down a Turkish military helicopter is largely recognized as one of his finest achievements in this regard.
He Loved The Mountains, And They Loved Him
Uysal made 6 short and full length films about the lives of the guerrillas, the last and most popular of which – Bêrîtan (watch here) – was released in 2006. He also wrote a novel about his memories of life as a guerilla called “Botan Journal Pardon Me” (Turkish: Botan’ın Günlüğü Beni Bağışlayın) which was published by Mezopotamya Press.
Uysal was killed in Besta while on a journey to film the mountains and guerillas of Northern Kurdistan in which he intended to go as far Gabbar, Cudi, Kato and Ağrı Mountain.
Before setting off on this journey from Botan, Uysal wrote this in his journal: “Until now the one thing that I have left to do is to repay the mountains and the people of the north. I have not yet paid my debt to those mountains and those people who live there. I have taken much from them and those places. But I have not been able to repay them in the way I have wanted. I have documented the guerrillas and the mountains for a long time with my cameras. But the north has yet to enter my frame. Now I am going there to pay my debt. Now the mountains and stones, flowing water and guerillas of the north are waiting for me. They have been waiting for years. I have only just been able to set out on this road. Even If its late I will certain pay my debt. Because I have received an unequaled gift from those mountains and peoples. And for them I will fulfil my duty. I will certainly have something that I can give to them.”