Ecological Solidarity and the Kurdish Freedom Movement: Thought, Practice, Challenges, and Opportunities is a pioneering text that examines the ideas about social ecology and communalism behind the evolving political structures in the Kurdish region. The collection evaluates practical green projects, including the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement, Jinwar women's eco-village, food sovereignty in a solidarity economy, environmental defenders in Iranian Kurdistan, and Make Rojava Green Again. Contributors also critically reflect on such contested themes as Alevi nature beliefs, anti-dam demonstrations, human-rights law and climate change, the Gezi Park protests, and forest fires. Throughout this volume, the contributors consider the formidable challenges to the Kurdish initiatives, such as state repression, damaged infrastructure, and oil dependency. Nevertheless, contributors assert that the West has much to learn from the Kurdish ecological paradigm, which offers insight into social movement debates about development and decolonization.
Introduction: Ecology in the Kurdish Paradigm
Part I: Theory
Chapter 1: The Value of Social Ecology in the Struggles to Come / Federico Venturini
Chapter 2: Social Ecology in Öcalan’s Thinking / Cihad Hammy
Chapter 3: Ecological Self-Governmentality in Kurdish Space at a Time of Neoliberal Authoritarianism / Engin Sustam
Chapter 4: Radical or Reactionary Tomatoes? Organizing against the Toxic Legacy of Capital’s Environmentalism / Nicholas Hildyard
Part II: Positive Initiatives for Ecological Change
Chapter 5: Ecology Structures of the Kurdish Freedom Movement / Ercan Ayboga
Chapter 6: An Interview with HDP Ecology Commission Co-Spokesperson, Menekse Kizildere.
Chapter 7: Greening and Feeding the City: The Difficult Path to the Implementation of Political Ecology in Diyarbakir/Amed, 2015-2017 / Clémence Scalbert-Yücel
Chapter 8: Regenerating Kurdish Ecologies Through Food Sovereignty, Agroecology, and Economies of Care / Michel P. Pimbert
Chapter 9: Free Life Together: Jinwar, the Women's Eco-village / Fabiana Cioni and Domenico Patassini
Chapter 10: Women’s Subjectivity and the Ecological and Communal Economy / Azize Aslan; translated from Spanish by Karen Tiedtke
Part III: Social Movements and Environmental Activism
Chapter 11: Environmental Activism in Rojhelat: Emergence and Objectives / Allan Hassaniyan
Chapter 12: The Kurdish Freedom Movement and Gezi: Strategic Reluctance and Tactical Ambiguities / Kumru Toktamis and Isabel David
Chapter 13: Hasankeyf, the Ilisu Dam, and the Kurdish Movement in Turkey / Laurent Dissard
Chapter 14: The Kurdish Ecology Movement and Human Rights / Marlene A. Payya Almonte and Thomas James Phillips
Chapter 15: The Internationalist Project to Make Rojava Green Again / Stephen E. Hunt
Part IV: Nature Protection and Kurdish Alevism
Chapter 16: Dersim as a Sacred Land: Contemporary Kurdish Alevi Ethno-Politics and Environmental Struggle / Ahmet Kerim Gültekin
Chapter 17: The Philosophy of Ecology and Rêya Heqî: Religion, Nature, and Femininity / Dilsa Deniz
Part V: Conflict and Environmental Destruction
Chapter 18: Forest fires in Dersim and Sirnak: Conflict and Environmental Destruction / Pinar Dinc
Chapter 19: Breaking the Kill Chain: Exposing to Challenge British State and International Corporate Complicity in Turkey's Killer Drone Industry / Ceri Gibbons
Part VI: Conclusions
Chapter 20: “To Plant the Tree of Tomorrow”: Seeding and Spiraling Ecologically Aware Democratic Autonomy Beyond the Kurdish Freedom Movement / tephen E. Hunt
Chapter 21: Concluding Reflections on the Kurdish Ecology Initiatives / Stephen E. Hunt
Stephen E. Hunt is the academic skills coordinator for the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of the West of England.
"Stephen E. Hunt has put together an incredibly rich collection of informative, thought-provoking, and daring contributions in this rare gem. Contributions range from chapters on theoretical aspects of ecology to those on environmental activism and blossoming empirical innovations a la democratic confederalism – from excavations on cultural origins of nature protection to novel perspectives that emanate from contemporary eco-conservationist ideals in Kurdistan. This book offers more than a wide range of analyses on Kurdish politics; it also points towards new political possibilities that have global relevance."
– Hanifi Baris, University of Aberdeen