News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The following article “Rojava demokrasisi“ was written Metin Yeğin by and appeared in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.
The reason for the title of this piece “Rojava Democracy” is not because I want to talk about the kind of system that people are attempting to build in Rojava but because, just the opposite, I want to suggest a concept that knows no borders and which I can recommend everywhere. In using this name I wanted to refer to a form of ‘oppositional democracy’ that opposes the capitalist/neo-liberal system and the prison regime which in every part of the globe is day by day creating ever worse conditions for a humanity that is worked and subjected to extreme conditions of control. I think that this is a beautiful new name for the kind of ‘freedom and equality’ that can be realized in a society with ecological democracy, collectives, cooperatives, communes, radical participatory democracy and a vitality which remains ever more creative than these theories. Once more I believe it is entirely appropriate that the structural arrangement defined as radical participatory democracy with all its internal dynamics take a collective name from the world’s zero-point – “Rojava.”
You may think that however ‘well-intentioned’ we are here it is an exaggeration to suggest that ‘Rojava Democracy’ be applied to the whole world, but this goes to what I am been insistently trying to explain for two-three years – do not let the claim that ‘Rojava is the world’s zero-point’ come as shocking. It is called ‘Rojava Democracy’ because in a world where one experiences the overlapping spatial dimensions of race, class and state interference on almost every street and in a Middle East which has been everywhere divided by borders marked with minefields it is attempting to bring to life radical participatory democracy as a form of governance and has worked within all its essential bodies, in contrast to the rest of the world, to not only include minorities from every ethnic-religious community but to believe that it is absolutely necessary to include them.* The Rojava popular committees in which Arabs, Alevis, Yezidis, Christians, Turkmen, Syriacs, Armenians, Assyrians and of course Kurds are participating together singles directly the fracturing of the overlapping spatial dimensions of ‘race, class and state inference.’
It is a name which needs to be employed around the world because ‘Rojava Democracy’ is the opposite of borders, and because women – who have been made outcasts in everywhere corner of the world and in its neoliberal ghettos in particular – have become a foundational subject of this radical democracy in a Middle East which is one of the sharpest and clearest examples of this exclusion. For women – who are excluded, made into a second class, bot celebrated for and then confined to their work with children, both exhibited and covered, both rapped and taken under protection, and in all events objectified – it is nothing other than a liberation struggle
I want to look conceptually at this attempt at subversion as Giacometti commented upon his own work. Giacometti always spoke about his sculptures as part of one complete work. This is to say all the files and hammers, the sculptors and all the tools in his workshop, the broken and the shaped fragments, the dust and debris as one piece. All of his sculptures were once piece. Yet at the same time all of these sculptures were formed from all of that dust and fragments and thus as one piece they were formed from everything. Rojava Democracy is a part of the whole world and is building itself from its dust and its fragments…
And Giacometti’s statues were a masterpiece…
*Here I should also remark that the sects and denominations of religious communities are ultimately and in the last analysis defined as a kind of ‘race-ethnicity’