An animation by Rok Production has been released online to celebrate the birthday of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The animation begins with images of drought, a daily reality for poor Kurdish peasants who often lack means of irrigation. Drought is also used here as an allegory for the hardships faced by an unorganised and oppressed people.
The appearance of a young Abdullah Öcalan follows. He is holding a prospective mind and perspectives on a solution.
Öcalan is seen reflecting on the far off mountains, the mountains being a reference to the momentous organised struggle against injustices and also a reference to the practicalities of accessing water source provision.
In the next scene, Öcalan is joined by others, Sakine Cansız, Mazlum Doğan, Kemal Pir, Hayri Durmuş, all legendary co-founders of the PKK in late 1970s, climbing the mountain to seek a solution.
Their joint efforts create an unprecedented force and are the first effective response to the profound hardships and oppression faced by the Kurdish people. This is represented by the group moving a large bolder that is blocking the flow of the water.
As the water flows down from the mountain tops and along the dry plains, the dying tree is watered. It comes to life, buds emerging on the tree branches.
The tree reference is important as every year trees are planted in celebration of Abdullah Öcalan’s birthday.
A line appears on the screen: Rojbûna te, Rojbûna Me Ye
‘Your birthday, My birthday.’ In reference to the Kurdish people being reborn after the Kurdish freedom struggle led by Abdullah Öcalan and the PKK.
Abdullah Öcalan is 73 today and for the last 23 years has been under severe solitary confinement on the island prison of Imrali in Turkey. His confinement is on-going.