A century after the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, in a unique blend of art and politics, an event entitled “New World Embassy: Kurdistan” will unfold in the Swiss city. From 23-24 September, Kurdish and international politicians, experts and artists will come together to explore the complexities of stateless democracy and solidarity.
The mission of the event resonates with the historical context: a century ago, the Treaty of Lausanne led to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, leaving the Kurdish people without a state of their own and their homeland divided between the states of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. Today, the Kurdish community is engaged in a multi-faceted struggle, fighting both the Islamic State (ISIS) and persecution, while pioneering an innovative transnational grassroots democracy with a feminist focus in northern and eastern Syria.
The project was initiated by Kurdish politician Nilüfer Koç, representing the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), and artist Jonas Staal. Over the course of two days, the programme will include panel discussions, film screenings, musical performances and open dialogues. The initiative is supported by various organisations, including the Mondriaan Foundation and Progressive International.
The event serves as a meeting point for participants from all corners of Kurdistan and welcomes political dignitaries from the global arena. Its mission, as articulated by the organisers, is “to work for a future of progress in the region of Kurdistan by fostering collaboration between Swiss, Kurdish and international politicians, experts and artists through open workshops and discussions on the themes of stateless democracy and cultures of solidarity”.