Female Kurdish fighters have long been a focus of attention and debate by the international public and women’s movements due to their active participation in the armed struggles that Kurdish people have been waging over the past three decades.
Even as there have been several examples of poets, writers, singers and photographers among the fighters of the Free Women’s Units (YJA-Star), an armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), another female fighter named Sara Cudi shows that women recognise no borders in their artistic productions, despite all the challenges of the armed struggle.
Born in Turkey’s southeastern city of Batman (Elih), Cudi grew up in the western city of Izmir and started ballet lessons when she was only twelve, ANF reports.
“When I practiced at home, I could never practice ballet without music. But in the mountains of Kurdistan, I have learned how to listen to the sound of nature and dance along with it, without any music. The more I communed with nature, the deeper my feelings grew.”
She states she was greatly impressed by the evaluations of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan regarding art and culture. “I began to question myself. How could I create a social personality within me? This was my main question to get to know the PKK. With my dance, I express the social spirit and the oppressed women’s totality with nature and re-connect with life.”
Cudi says she dances ‘out’ her inspirations amid the ongoing clashes in the Metina, Zap and Avashin regions of Iraqi Kurdistan where Turkish armed forces have been carrying out a military campaign since 23 April. “We will own this war not just with our arms but also with our art,” she stated.
“In Mam Resho, Zentura and Heftanin, our comrades resist with a vengeance. A spirit of sacrifice and comradeship emerges in the face of the attacks of the enemy,” she says and asks, “How can we reflect this spirit? How can we tell that spirit?”
Some fighters express this through their poems, some through their drama performances, she said, but she has her own way. “I try to tell this resistance with my body language. In my performance entitled ‘The Unity of the Fire with Sun,’ I tried to express the commitment of our comrades – who take part in the Bazên Zagrosê and Cenga Xabûr campaigns – to the leadership [of Abdullah Öcalan].”
She states that her performance is dedicated to seek the answer to the question: “How can we reach the sun when we are in the fire?”