Upcoming event in Brighton, 3rd November: Revolutions in Rojava and Beyond: Perspectives on Democratic Transformations

At the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre

Thursday 3 November 2016, from 4pm to 8pm

Register here

Co-organised by the ESRC STEPS Centre, members of the Sussex Kurdish Community and members of Brighton Kurdish Solidarity, join us for the screening of several short activist-produced films, followed by a panel discussion with key speakers Janet Biehl, Ercan Ayboğa, and Dilar Dirik.


The region of Western Syria known as Rojava by its Kurdish majority is undergoing a profound project of democratic reconstruction that offers possibly for transformative peace and freedom in Syria and the larger Middle East. Key dimensions of this transformation relate to its decentralized nature, and howeconomy, justice, defense, ecology, pluralism and feminism and many other issues are brought to the fore. The Rojava Revolution is fundamentally a women’s revolution against oppressive social structures and patriarchal traditions. Not only are women leading the democratic transformation of their society, they are also engaged in a total war against the so-called Islamic State. Our speakers, drawing on their extensive experience in Rojava and in the wider Kurdish freedom movement, will explore its significant features and implications for the future. Panelists will present and discuss insights from their own experiences as activists, researchers and participants in delegations to Rojava, as well as findings from a new book, Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Confederalism and Women’s Liberation in Northern Syria, available in English from Pluto Press in October 2016.

Janet Biehl has visited Rojava several times and is the translator of Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Confederalism and Women’s Liberation in Northern Syria. She is also the author of several works on the noted American social theorist Murray Bookchin –Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin (2015), The Murray Bookchin Reader (1997) and The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism (1996), as well as other titles.

Ercan Ayboğa is an environmental engineer, co-founder of the Tatort Kurdistan Campaign in Germany, and co-author ofRevolution in Rojava: Democratic Confederalism and Women’s Liberation in Northern Syria. Currently living in North Kurdistan, he is active in ecological struggles and has developed the initiatives ‘Keep Hasankeyf Alive’ and the ‘Mesopotamian Ecology Movement’.

Dilar Dirik is from north Kurdistan (Bakur). She is an activist of the Kurdish Women’s Movement. Due to political repression from the Turkish state, she became a refugee as a child and grew up in Germany. She is currently working on her PhD in Sociology at the University of Cambridge and regularly writes on the Kurdish freedom movement. Dilar works with a variety of Kurdish organizations in Europe and co-organized the first academic delegation to Rojava in 2014.


4pm Films Screening

6pm Panel Discussion

For all enquiries about this event, please contact the STEPS Centre Manager Harriet Dudley: h.dudley@ids.ac.uk

With thanks to Tim Hornsby for the artwork.

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