This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Rojava revolution in North-East Syria whose people have been building a new political system based on the principles of gender equality, grassroots democracy, pluralism, and ecological sustainability. Over the last year, this project has come under increasing attacks by NATO member Turkey, which has waged a long-standing war against Kurds both inside Turkey and in its neighboring countries Syria and Iraq.
Join Anya Briy, a researcher and writer, and Steven De Castro, a director, teacher and cinematographer, as they report back from their recent visits to North-East Syria and Iraq’s Sinjar province, where the Yazidi population has also been a target of Turkish aggression. In conversation with Debbie Bookchin, the speakers will discuss the current geopolitical situation in the region and report back on the process of social transformation undertaken by the people in both areas.
Organized by the Emergency Committee for Rojava.
Photo credit © Everyday Syria 2022
Anya Briy is a New York–based activist, researcher and writer, focusing on the Kurdish movement in Syria and Turkey and indigenous movements in Mexico. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, openDemocracy, Lefteast, Jadaliyya, and The Region. She has just returned from a three-months long trip to North-East Syria.
Steven De Castro has dedicated his filmmaking to capturing peasant revolutions around the world. His last film, REVOLUTION SELFIE; THE RED BATTALION, chronicled his time with the New People’s Army of the Philippines. His next film, REVOLUTION SELFIE; WAR WITH NO NAME, follows the struggle of the Yazidi people, who continue to fight against ISIS and other powerful enemies seeking to take their land.
Debbie Bookchin is an author and investigative journalist who has written for The Atlantic, The Nation, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Roar Magazine, and numerous other publications. She served as press secretary for U.S. Congressman Bernie Sanders from 1991-1994. She is co-founder of the Emergency Committee for Rojava, and spent several weeks in Rojava in 2019. Debbie is the editor of several new editions of books by her late father, Murray Bookchin, including: The Philosophy of Social Ecology, From Urbanization to Cities, and The Modern Crisis, recently published by AK Press. She also co-edited The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso 2015) and is coauthor of the book The Virus and the Vaccine (St. Martin’s Press 2004).
Ozlem Goner is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Staten Island, and Middle Eastern Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her book entitled, Turkish National Identity and its Outsiders: Memories of State Violence in Dersim, was published by Routledge in June 2017.
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