Twelve internationalists have collaborated in the writing of the book entıtled Nous Vous Écrivons Depuis la Révolution (We Write to you of Revolution)” Now the book is being prepared for its second printing, and aims to bring to the world Kurdish tales and stories, the social life in Rojava in the shadow of war and jineology [a form of feminism advocated by Abdullah Öcalan], as well as cross-sections of the lives of the women in Rojava. Yeni Özgür Politika interviewed Maria, one of the writers, about how she came to know the Kurdish struggle and about the book, which she wrote together with eleven comrades.
Together with Kobani
Maria says that she took an active part in all the marches organised in France in the period when ISIS gangs were attacking Kobani in 2014, and that in 2016 she travelled to Rojava to learn more about this historical resistance of the Kurds, to get to know it better and to contribute to it.
War and building hand in hand
Maria learned Kurdish quickly, and stayed in Rojava for three and a half years. She says: “The Rojava revolution is a women’s revolution and I tried to be a part of it. In Rojava, life is being built up at the same time as a war going on. Of course this is a very difficult process. While I was there I took part in jineology studies, and I took a role in press activities.”
The important thing is to learn from one another
“Every aspect of women’s struggle is extremely important,” Maria said,and she does not feel that drawing comparisons between jineology and feminist movements in other arts of the world is helpful. She believes that the most important points are the freedom and unity of women: “The most important thing is for women’s struggles around the world is to learn from one another and to take strength from one another.”
Twelve internationalist women
Maria states that the book was produced collectively by twelve women, continuing: “All the writers know French. Most of the group, consisting of Breton, Occitane and Catalan internationalists, were born and brought up in France.”
She states that most of the women involved in writing the book took part in the activities of the Rojava revolution, adding, “Some are activists, some are journalists, and some are mothers who went there to see their children who had joined the revolution. The book is based on their experiences and impressions of Rojava.”
A response to the white European view
Maria notes that the book contains stories of poets, Kurdish folk-tales, theatrical plays, in brief, different creative productions narrating all fields of life. She says, “For us, the book is a response to the orientalist white European view,” and adds that they have embraced the Rojava Revolution as if it were their own.
She says that they have also included interviews they held with ISIS women in the book, explaining that they examined the processes pushing these people to join a gang hostile to women. She says,”We also tried to discuss the similarities and differences between feminism and jineology.”
We are trying to build a bridge
Maria says that, together with feminist collectives, autonomy collectives, the Union of Free Communists (UCL), trades unions and Democratic Kurdish Community Centres, the writers have organised panels in various cities in France, with the aim of promoting the book. In these panels, she says, they try to explain their experiences in Rojava, jineology, the Rojava Revolution and the Democratic Confederal model to the French and Kurdish people: “We are trying to build a bridge between the Kurdish people and the peoples in Europe with these activities.”
So far they have organised 30 different events and panels in Belgium, Switzerland and France. She explains that they also give lessons in jineology at these women’s events, noting that their events have been attracting attention from various different peoples.
Proceeds to women’s projects
Maria said that the first printing of the book, published on 8 March 2021, had sold out, and that the second printing would be available to readers soon: “We dedicate the book to all those fighters who have achieved immortality in the Rojava revolution. We aim to tell the whole world about the Rojava revolution. She adds: “We send all proceeds left over after the payment of fees for printing, publication and distribution, to the women’s projects in Rojava.”