In this episode, I speak with Xabat — a representative of the Internationalist Commune of Rojava. We discuss the ecological dimension of the Rojavan Revolution in Northeast Syria, represented and explored in the book ‘Make Rojava Green Again,’ which examines the environmental perspective and ecological practices inherent in the egalitarian and anticapitalist revolution in the region.
Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, much of the focus has been on a few key dynamics: the brutalities of the Syrian government toward protest and resistance against the regime; the geopolitical implications of various world powers and regional players (the United States, Russia, Turkey, Israel) attempts to directly influence the outcome of this war in their respective favor; the extraordinary rise and fall of oppressive fundamentalist Islamic militias and groups, like the so-called Islamic State and Al-Qaeda affiliated cells. Out of this horrendous conflict, there has been at least one major positive development that has emerged — the Rojavan Revolution. Deeply rooted in decades of Kurdish militant resistance against state oppression and capitalism, the civil war has allowed space for a deeply feminist, multireligious, multiethnic, and ecological society to emerge in northern Syria. This society is working very diligently to build, maintain, and expand egalitarian social structures that collectivize decision making on multiple levels, with a particular emphasis on upending patriarchal social and political systems, moving away from the capitalist mode of production, and a direct focus on regenerating ecological systems that have been detrimentally impacted by years of resource extraction, pollution, deforestation, and monocultural crop production.
In this interview with Xabat, we discuss the 'Make Rojava Green Again' campaign, the principles and pillars of the Rojavan Revolution, the ongoing threats posed by the Turkish state bordering Rojavan territory, and the practical actions that are being made in Rojava to heal humankind’s relationship with the land and the ecologies of northeastern Syria and the planet as a whole.
The ‘Make Rojava Green Again’ campaign is in cooperation with the Ecology Committee of the Cizire Canton. The campaign has three aspects: 1) Building up the Internationalist Academy with an ecological ethos, to serve as a working example for comparable projects and concepts for the entire society. The academy will facilitate education for internationalists and for the general population of Rojava, to strengthen awareness and environmental consciousness, pushing to build up an ecological society; 2) Joining the work of ecological projects for reforestation, and building up a cooperative tree nursery as part of the Internationalist Academy; 3) Material support for existing and future ecological projects of the Democratic Self-administration, including sharing of knowledge between activists, scientists and experts with committees and structures in Rojava, developing a long-term perspective for an ecological Northern Syria Federation.*
- Learn more about and support the ‘Make Rojava Green Again’ campaign: https://makerojavagreenagain.org
- Purchase a copy of the book: http://bit.ly/MRGAbook
- Learn more about the Internationalist Commune of Rojava: https://internationalistcommune.com
- Learn more about the philosophical principles of the Rojavan Revolution: https://komun-academy.com
- Learn more about Jinwar, the “village of free women”: https://jinwar.org
- The song featured in this episode is “God Bless Me ft. Sporting Life & Skepta (Instrumental)” by Wiki from the album Lil Me.