Art of Freedom: A Brief History of the Kurdish Liberation Struggle

Regular price $ 16.95

by Havin Guneser

PM Press

7/13/2021, paperback

SKU: 9781629637815


The revolution in Rojava captured the imagination of the left, sparking a worldwide interest in the Kurdish Freedom Movement. The Art of Freedom demonstrates that this explosive movement is firmly rooted in several decades of organized struggle.

In 2018, one of the most important spokespersons for the struggle of Kurdish Freedom, Havin Guneser, held three groundbreaking seminars on the historical background and guiding ideology of the movement. Much to the chagrin of career academics, the theoretical foundation of the Kurdish Freedom Movement is far too fluid and dynamic to be neatly stuffed into an ivory-tower filing cabinet. A vital introduction to the Kurdish struggle, The Art of Freedom is the first English-language book to deliver a distillation of the ideas and sensibilities that gave rise to the most important political event of the twenty-first century.

The book is broken into three sections:

  • “Critique and Self-Critique: The rise of the Kurdish freedom movement from the rubbles of two world wars” provides an accessible explanation of the origins and theoretical foundation of the movement.
  • “The Rebellion of the Oldest Colony: Jineology—the Science of Women” describes the undercurrents and nuances of the Kurdish women’s movement and how they have managed to create the most vibrant and successful feminist movement in the Middle East.
  • “Democratic Confederalism and Democratic Nation: Defense of Society Against Societycide” deals with the attacks on the fabric of society and new concepts beyond national liberation to counter it. Centering on notions of “a shared homeland” and “a nation made up of nations,” these rousing ideas find deep international resonation.

Havin Guneser has provided an expansive definition of freedom and democracy and a road map to help usher in a new era of struggle against capitalism, imperialism, and the State.


“In this unmissable book, Havin Guneser strikes the right chords with her uncompromising and warm-hearted analysis of the Kurdish Freedom movement, and the Kurdish women’s movement. A must-read for everyone who wants to understand what the struggle for freedom means in today’s violent world.” —Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, author of The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America and Social Sciences for an Other Politics

“A bright light shining through the darkness of these times, an extraordinary achievement in the most dreadful conditions: we need to understand more about the struggle for freedom being fought by the Kurdish movement. This book by Havin Guneser is a clear, committed, inspiring, and necessary introduction to the movement and its ideas.” —John Holloway, author of Crack Capitalism and In, Against, and Beyond Capitalism: The San Francisco Lectures

“Havin Guneser is not just the world’s leading authority on the thought of Abdullah Öcalan; she is a profound, sensitive, and challenging revolutionary thinker with a message the world desperately needs to hear.” —David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory

About the Contributors:

Havin Guneser is an engineer, journalist, and women’s rights activist who writes and speaks extensively on the topic of revolution in Rojava. She is one of the spokespersons of the International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan—Peace in Kurdistan” and translator of several of Öcalan’s books.

Andrej Grubacic is an anarchist dissident and historian who has written prolifically on anarchism and the history of the Balkans. He is founding chair of the Anthropology and Social Change department. He is the author of Don’t Mourn, Balkanize! Essays after Yugoslavia and the coauthor of Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History.

Sasha Lilley is a writer and radio broadcaster. She’s the cofounder and host of the critically acclaimed program of radical ideas, Against the Grain. While program director of KPFA Radio, the flagship station of the Pacifica Network, she headed up such award-winning national broadcasts as “Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan.” Sasha is the series editor of PM Press’s political economy imprint, Spectre, and is the author of Capital and Its Discontents, which Publishers Weekly called a “cool-headed but urgent volume—timely but sophisticated and wide-ranging enough to remain a longtime reference.” Her coauthored book Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth was published by PM Press.