by Dilar Dirik
The Kurdish women's movement is at the heart of the most exciting revolutionary experiment in the world today: Rojava. Forged over decades of struggle, most recently in the fight against ISIS, Rojava embodies a radical commitment to ecology, democracy, and gender equality. But while striking images of Kurdish women in desert fatigues proliferate, a true understanding of the women's movement remains elusive.
Taking apart the superficial and Orientalist frameworks that dominate, Dilar Dirik offers instead an empirically rich account of the women's movement in Kurdistan. Drawing on original research and ethnographic fieldwork, she surveys the movement's historical origins, ideological evolution, and political practice over the past forty years. Going beyond abstract ideas, Dirik locates the movement's culture and ideology in its concrete work for women's liberation and radical democracy.
Taking the reader from the guerrilla camps in the mountains to radical women's academies and self-organized refugee camps, the book invites readers around the world to engage with the revolution in Kurdistan, both theoretically and practically, as a vital touchstone in the wider struggle for a militant anti-fascist, anti-capitalist feminist internationalism.
"Dilar Dirik is one the foremost writers, scholars and participants in the Kurdish women's movement. Her revolutionary work against all forms of state and social oppression and exploitation is unsparing in its truth-telling and expansive in its political orientation - a true people's historian from below" -- Harsha Walia, author of Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism
"Read to 'feelthink' and to embrace the memories of the historical struggle of the Kurdish sisters against the fascist and capitalist patriarchy. From the mountains, academia and daily life in resistance, their legacy walks towards liberation, healing and dignity" -- Lorena Kab'nal, Mayan Ancestral Healer, Territorial Community Feminist and Community Social Psychologist
About the Author:
Dilar Dirik was born in Antakya and grew up in Germany. She is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford and holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge. She has written on the Kurdish struggle for a range of publications including openDemocracy, the Boston Globe and ROAR Magazine.