by Thomas Schmidinger
The Kurdish territory of Rojava in Syria has in recent years become a watchword for radical democracy, communalism, and gender equality. This book, however, argues that much of how we see Rojava from the outside is a projection of the values of Western radicals whose understanding of the complexities of the situation are limited. Thomas Schmidinger has been working in Rojava for seventeen years, and here he gives us the clearest picture yet of the history, politics, and society of the region today. He sketches the historical background of the Kurds in Syria, then details the developments since the outbreak of war in 2011, including the establishment of the Kurdish para-state and ongoing conflicts between Kurdish parties about how it should be administered. Drawing on interviews with leaders from different parties, civil society activists, artists, fighters, and religious leaders, Schmidinger delivers an authentic, nuanced, unromanticized portrait of Rojava today.
About the Author:
Thomas Schmidinger is a political scientist and cultural anthropologist based at the University of Vienna.