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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Décembre - Read: Grojean, "The Kurdish Revolution" (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 30 Dec 2017 10:54:52 +0200

No, it is not the umpteenth book to exalt the courage of Kurdish fighters. It is not a fabric of malicious buxtees in the Jean-Pierre Filiu, nor a servile storytelling pro-PKK. It is even less a neocolonialist platform in the Kouchner, which would see in the Kurdish cause only a pawn on the geopolitical chessboard. ---- Olivier Grojean's book is simply a nice effort to synthesize, sober, based on the counting of twenty-five years of sociological work conducted by researchers and researchers - often German - on the PKK and its movement. He confronts the evolution of his ideology with the reality of his practices, with the permanence of his functioning, with his interactions with the civil society and with the diaspora, scrutinizes the discipline in his fighting units, the rise of the women, the report to the icon Abdullah Öcalan, its founder and chief executive ...

The book is very informative, provided you do not misunderstand: it does not offer an exact vision of what is the Kurdish left in 2017. On some subjects, it suffers from the lack of sources dating from less than fifteen or twenty years. Many descriptions or analyzes are valid for the years 1990 or 2000, and the book, despite its caution, does not always discern to what extent they are still worth today. On the other hand, it provides good genealogical understanding keys.

Thus the " theory of the new man " in the resistance will be released from his former personality colonized. Grojean finds it in the writings of Öcalan and other PKK leaders and brings it closer to the thought of Frantz Fanon. This theory clearly marked the practice in the 1990s, when the PKK, distancing itself from Marxism-Leninism, sought to elevate its doctrine to the level of a civilizational enterprise. What about twenty years later ? The author does not venture to measure it.

The same is true of the emancipation of women, an emblematic theme of the Kurdish left. Olivier Grojean dissects the ambiguities of Öcalan's " theory of the free woman " at the end of the 1980s, interweaving it in the anticolonialist struggle. This theory brought both unprecedented promotion of women, breaking with patriarchy, and a somewhat disturbing essentialism. Thirty years later, what remains in the vast movement of Kurdish women, who has been able to rub shoulders with other feminist thoughts ?

Among the most interesting chapters will be the one on the " convergences between political projects " of the PKK and the Mexican EZLN ; the one on the " empowerment of the environmental cause " ; " The societal economy " in Rojava ; the " PKK- controlled areas " in Rojava, Sinjar and Maxmur ...

William Davranche (AL Montreuil)

Olivier Grojean, The Kurdish Revolution. The PKK and the utopian factory, La Découverte, 2017, 256 pages, 17 euros

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