Kurdish women’s struggles have recently been portrayed and assessed through different works such as documentaries, newspaper articles, and books. Now, it is being represented in graphic novel form, reports Yeni Özgür Politika.
Journalist and director Mylène Sauloy traveled to Kurdistan several times to follow the struggle of Kurdish women of the Women’s Defence Units (YPJ) who fought to liberate Rojava from the jihadist yoke. She later wrote a graphic novel based on the documentary “Kurdistan: girls at war” (Kurdistan, la guerre des filles) which she had directed.
The documentary framed in a strong feminist stance that examines struggles in war and also with regard to women’s participation in public affairs and democratic institutions, has received various international awards.
Director Saulay stated that the idea of making a graphic novel of the YPJ’s esistance came after a publisher offered her the opportunity. ‘
“I found the idea that the epic of these women’s struggles for freedom is magical because a movie can disappear easily. However, a book is a companion on the road, an inspiration we can turn back to whenever we want. We can include any of the women who couldn’t be filmed for safety reasons. It is a way to respect their struggle again and also a better way to reach a greater audience,” Sauloy said.
To know more closely the struggle of the Kurdish women’s liberation movement, Sauloy visited every part of Kurdistan for years. Her most recent visit to Rojava was to create a documentary on women fighters against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Sauloy stated that the Kurdish women’s resistance has a great impact in terms of change and challenges to patriarchal structures. ‘
‘Turkey, in particular, is conducting an unprecedented repression against all Kurdish organisations,” Sauloy said, adding: ”Women continue to fight for their rights in Bakur (Northern Kurdistan) as they did in Bashur (Iraqi Kurdistan). The difference in Rojava is that women’s rights have been included in the law since 2014. And I think that the women’s struggle against ISIS has changed their image in society’.”
As a journalist known for her news, documentaries and films on Kurdish resistance since 2003, Sauloy stated that she is planning to travel Rojava again for a new film project as soon as the pandemic restrictions end. She also shared the information that the graphic novel will be released this month.