Magazine article New Internationalist

Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan

Magazine article New Internationalist

Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan

Article excerpt

Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan by Michael Knapp, Anja Flach and Ercan Ayboga translated from the German by Janet Biehl (Pluto Press, ISBN978 074533 6596)

The feminist thinker Rebecca Solnit has a phrase for the astonishing communities that can arise from disasters, be they natural or human-made. She dubs such an effusion of solidarity and organizational purpose, 'A Paradise Built in Hell'. The authors of this fascinating book have travelled to one such place and the tales they return with give pause for thought and reasons to hope.

Rojava, an enclave in northern Syria, consists of three cantons, Afrîn, Kobanî and Cizîrê. Nominally part of Syria, it has, since 2012, been under the control of the MGRK (The People's Council of West Kurdistan). Organizing on non-hierarchical principles and gender equality, the MGRK instituted radical changes in the region. Despite being surrounded by hostile forces - ISIS, Turkey and the Syrian state - Rojava saw the emergence of an anti-capitalist social organization, labelled Democratic Autonomy. …

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