This article is published by Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr for discussion and debate about the universal and specific lessons of Rojava.
Rojava is a molecular revolution: Kurdish academic Engin Sustam
Evoking French philosopher Félix Guattari, academic Engin Sustam has called the revolution in Rojava-Northern Syria a "molecular revolution".
Speaking at a conference at the university of Rennes on 13 January, Sustam said Kurds in Rojava, under attack from all sides, had had to "turn the area into an ideological laboratory to build a structure outside the state."
Emphasising the link between the transformation of social movements across the globe and the Kurdish movement, the Kurdish academic said, "Social movements' political readings changed. This influenced the revolution's thinker Abdullah Ocalan, who transformed a Marxist-Leninist movement into a autonomist movement."
"Words in the sphere of social ecology and feminism need to be suitable to our aims. This has even become the butt of a joke in our circles because we don't have 'vice chair' or 'assistant commander' anymore but 'co-chairs'. The use of the word 'Rojava' is also very recent. In the 1990s this area was called 'Little Kurdistan'. It was a place of exile for the PKK's Kurdish militants. Today geographical terms are being used more than nationalist terms."
Sustam also said Kurdish revolutionaries had created a new social contract [in Rojava] and this had had an influence, adding, "It was normal for us that all other minority languages were being encouraged alongside the Kurdish language, which had been suppressed for a long time."
The academic also criticised the Jacobin revolution and said the Kurdish revolution was based on anti-colonialist thinkers like Frantz Fanon, philosophers like Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and ecologists like Murray Bookchin.
"We are foregrounding the principle of social ecology, the common use of water, land and energy. This is neither a proletarian nor a national revolution. It is a molecular revolution."
Sustam also commented on developments in Turkey and said the Peoples' Democratic Party's victory in the 7 June 2015 general elections had wiped out conservative, nationalist parties like the AKP and MHP.
"The HDP in short was saying, 'We, the excluded want to take our futures back. Our future isn't to take power. This is why they were targeted," Sustam said.
The online French magazine 'Le peuple Breton', reporting the conference commented on Sustam's words saying, "Now it becomes clear why the Turkish President Erdogan is targeting the HDP and the Kurds in general.
The Kurds are the key of the Middle East. Only they are proposing a common existence."