Culture and art are essential components of a nation’s life, and their protection is vital for the survival of any society, said Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council co-chair Cemil Bayık in a written message sent to the 31st International Kurdish Culture Festival in Frankfurt on Saturday.
One central theme of Bayık’s message, which was read out in the festival, was the crucial role of culture and art in preserving the identity and resilience of the Kurdish people, who have faced what he described as cultural genocide policies and oppression from various forces. Bayık acknowledged the historical significance of the Kurdish dengbêj culture and how it has played a pivotal role in preserving Kurdish heritage.
Furthermore, Bayık emphasised that artists should prioritise socialisation and resist the commercialisation of art imposed by capitalist modernity. He urged artists to draw strength from their role as advocates of society and to contribute to the development of social, moral, and political values.
He also highlighted the importance of mindset in the struggle for freedom, emphasising the need for an ideological struggle alongside military efforts. Bayık encouraged artists to continue pushing boundaries, renewing themselves, and serving as beacons of truth and freedom.
Bayık declared that the Kurdish people are currently experiencing a renaissance due to the sacrifices of thousands of martyrs. He stressed that this resurgence must be represented through literary and artistic works such as poetry, music, film, painting, and more.
He noted that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan has been instrumental in promoting and developing Kurdish culture and arts, and he expressed gratitude for Öcalan’s efforts.
He expressed confidence that culture and art would play a crucial role in the ongoing efforts to secure Öcalan’s freedom and the broader aspirations of the Kurdish people for self-determination and cultural preservation.
The statement concluded with a call to action for Kurdish people worldwide, especially in Europe, to remain connected to their culture, language, and homeland. Bayık urged European artists and cultural workers to support the preservation and development of Kurdish culture and language as a fundamental duty.