Kurdish Feminisms, Meeting 2: Sakine Cansiz & Abdullah Öcalan
Weds 6 March, 7-10pm
The Swiss Church, Covent Garden
FREE & OPEN TO ALL
led by Kezia Davies and Mariana Lemos with special guest Elif Sarican
The second meeting of the Feminist Duration Reading Group focused on Kurdish feminisms, considering women’s roles in the Kurdish political movement and in broader Kurdish society. It centres on texts by two founders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and advocates for women’s liberation globally, Abdullah Öcalan and Sakine Cansiz. These texts focus on women’s liberation in the context of the PKK and the struggle for Kurdish nationalism in Turkey. Öcalan’s Liberating Life: Woman’s Revolution, compiled of extracts from books written throughout his life, gives an overview of women’s rights. Cansiz’s Sara: My Whole Life Was a Struggle is an autobiographical account of her life in parallel with the ongoing Kurdish movement up until her arrest in 1979. Cansiz was assassinated in 2013. Her demands that female revolutionaries be recruited and educated, and for total gender equality within the PKK, are now central tenets of the movement.
Led by Kezia Davies and Mariana Lemos, the session features guest speaker anthropologist and activist Elif Sarican, speaking about the Kurdish Women’s Movement and introduce the texts.
No advance reading is required as we read together, out loud, on the night.
Abdullah Öcalan, extracts from Liberating Life: Woman’s Revolution, 2013, pp40 – 43 and pp54 – 60.
Sakine Cansiz, extracts from Sara: My Whole Life Was a Struggle, pp55 – 71 and pp273 – 287.
The 6 March meeting is part of The Table, a week-long exhibition and events series developed by Mariana Lemos as part of the cultural programme of The Swiss Church. Considering the active position of feminist practices within the space of an exhibition, the programme evokes images of domestic intimacy, and ideas of horizontality and democracy, while also drawing attention to who routinely gets included, and excluded, from the table?