We are delighted to present a free talk with the co-author and the translator of the important, groundbreaking new book Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan, published by Pluto Press.
A new kind of society is being built in Syria, but it’s not one you would expect. Surrounded by deadly bands of ISIS, other Islamist groups and hostile Turkish forces, the people living in Syria’s Rojava cantons are carving out one of the most radically progressive societies on the planet today. International visitors have been astounded by the success of their project, a communally organised democracy which considers women’s liberation indispensable and rejects reactionary nationalist ideology whilst being fiercely anti-capitalist.
The people of Rojava call their new system democratic confederalism. An implementation of the recent ideology of the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, it boasts gender quotas of 50 percent, bottom-up democratic structures, the emphasising of the cultural diversity, deepreaching ecological policies, the development of numerous cooperatives and a militancy which is keeping ISIS from the gates.
Revolution in Rojava is the first full-length study of this ongoing social and political transformation in Syrian Kurdistan. Its authors draw on their own experiences of working and fighting in the region to construct a picture of hope for Middle Eastern politics and society, and reveal an extraordinary story of a battle against the odds.
Ercan Ayboga is an environmental engineer and activist. Formerly living and co-founding the Tatort Kurdistan Campaign in Germany, now he lives in North Kurdistan and is politically involved in the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement, particularly in water struggles.
Janel Biehl is a writer, editor and translator. She was Murray Bookchin's copyeditor for the last two decades of Bookchin's professional life. Her most recent work is Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin (2015, Oxford University Press)
Dilar Dirik is part of the Kurdish women's movement, a writer, and PhD student at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge.
Revolution in Rojava will be on sale at the event.
Date and Time
Seminar Room, Department of Sociology
University of Cambridge
Free School Lane