Trans­la­tion from the French of an arti­cle by Xane Anuş, pub­lished on March 26 2019 on Gazete Karın­ca, “Antigone olmak”, “Being Antigone”

Français | English | Türkçe

Times that tear the chest open must be times such as these. Hunger, death, life, despair…Do you not expe­ri­ence it too, as if a god wish­ing to test us, had com­pressed every­thing that is bright and dark and that touch­es on the human, into a wedge of time and locked us inside?

When were we thrown into this well? Does any­one remem­ber? If any­one asked us, we would say we have always been here, stuck in these times, and resist­ing. But per­haps there was anoth­er order of things before, one in which we were not test­ed to such an extent and where we had­n’t fall­en into this vor­tex where the days turn into their own repetitions.

Every peri­od bequeathes its own knowns and unknowns to the peri­od that fol­lows, so that for­get­ful­ness should not become too des­per­ate and melan­col­ic, from the sin­gu­lar to the plural.

Forced scrib­blings flow from the pen­cil, most of the time. But we have an absolute need to write. These vers­es by Gül­ten Akın “We have stopped at the most com­plex spot of the era/ Some­one wrote about us/If we do not write our­selves, who will do it?…” are these words not like an ukase?

A woman, stretched out in her hunger, melt­ing away ounce by ounce and she says: “you, do not die.” Her daugh­ter at her bed­side. She watch­es her moth­er melt­ing away. Then oth­er moth­ers arrive, hav­ing lost their chil­dren, who could not cry over them. Oth­er women who resist­ed so that “oth­er chil­dren would not die” arrive, from far away, from Argenti­na or from Amed, just next door…

Then anoth­er moth­er enters. Heads held high, they under­stand one anoth­er word­less­ly. The vic­to­ry sign. The tear­ful eyes are filled with sad­ness, but the fin­gers make the sign, describe the con­vic­tion. She has lost her child. Recent­ly, not even two days ago. A moth­er to whom even the right to bury her child was denied…

Leyla Güven Famille de Zülküf Gezen hungerstrike
The visit of the family of Zülküf Gezen, who, to protest the isolation, took his own life in the prison. Photo of Mesopotamia Agency..

Lat­er, sounds arrive from else­where, through invis­i­ble walls. In fact, they are not sounds, they are the corpses of those rebelling against their bod­ies, against the silence, sounds from the inner world. The ones con­fined between four walls tell us things through their body, through their death, despite those who do not allow them to hold on to liv­ing, to life.

 Will we man­age to hear them?

And a cycle; Zülküf, Ayten, Zehra, Medya… A new one arrives, bring­ing a name and a fad­ed pho­to­graph. Fol­lowed by shares with “#…IsIm­mor­tal”, with the indi­ca­tion “liv­ing rev­o­lu­tion­ary” on the social media keyboards…

Their birth dates are so famil­iar, aren’t they? Chil­dren born in the midst of the storm, and who turned into tem­pests. All of them born after 1990. Their sto­ry, their “fates” are the same.

The land’s hon­or­able resist­ing chil­dren who wish to be immor­tal, who wish to cling to life…by the doorjamb.

Will we man­age to see them?

Then some advice-givers show up, in the “life is sacred” mode. In their dim and servile brains, filled with cob­webs, they give birth to con­tra­dic­to­ry words using the bod­ies of their dead children.

From the great­est oppo­nent to the friend­liest, or to the great­est ene­my on these lands, the Kurds have been test­ed for ages through their dead.

One the the great tragedies writ­ten by Sopho­cles is a myth inher­it­ed from a thou­sand years ago; Antigone. In all the rules writ­ten and unwrit­ten that speak of “human rights” she is described as stat­ing “in all of human His­to­ry, the right to bury the dead and mourn, is the most fun­da­men­tal right.” So now, who will claim that the resis­tance Antigone led for the right to bury one’s dead, was noth­ing but a myth left behind in History?

From Tay­bet İnan whose body remained in the street for sev­en days, to the young­sters whose corpses were left for days no more than two meters away from their fam­i­lies in Sur; to the bod­ies torn apart by cats in the streets of Yük­seko­va, à Hatun Tuğluk, whose body was exhumed; and again, to the fact that in Bitlis, the fam­i­lies have still not received the bones of their close ones, fight­ers in the ger­il­la, a right of bur­ial they have had for years now…

The right of bur­ial” is sub­ject to a hun­dred year con­fis­ca­tion. Yes­ter­day as today, we are put to the test, always through our dead. The rest of this sto­ry would make for a long article.

Every day, we are put to the test again, by death and by our dead. The bod­ies of the chil­dren who, between those four walls, threw their body onto the scales, against the insis­tance on  iso­la­tion of a sytem that tram­ples human­i­ty’s age old val­ues, remov­ing their bod­ies in the night, with­out the fam­i­lies’ authorization.

A ceme­tery, dark­ness and the right to see for the last time, even this is stolen from a moth­er and the bod­ies are buried as clandestines.

We are test­ed through our dead by the hand of the State; dom­i­nat­ed by hard labor and pre­car­i­ous­ness, a chang­ing yoke at the whim of those who hold it and, most of the time, toys to amoral powers.

The moth­ers, bod­ies lent to hunger, the moth­ers whose right to “see for a last time” is con­fis­cat­ed …Our con­science is put to the test, in this cycle of time that holds us prisoners.

And they tell us things, these bod­ies melt­ing away, giv­ing up their life. Will we man­age to puri­fy our­selves of our a pri­ori and a pos­tiori, and understand?


It left a dream in my chest, the wind
In the breath of a lit­tle girl
From the sum­mits of mountains
It reached a hand to the wave on a lim­it­less sea
I could not catch it…
The breath of a lit­tle girl weigh­ing on the world,
She, resigned to die, wished to be immortal

Faces sus­pend­ed in time
How many are your names
In the days of for­get­ful­ness of cursed memory
Lives straight­ened out
Tomor­rows the price of which is large­ly paid for
Dead ones cling­ing to life
Eyes that smile
One side of me announced Paradise
The oth­er the flames of hell
In this era, what is left to us is to die
What is left, to be mortal

The being called human
Mon­ster born from chaos
Stuffs things in his pouch
Some take dreams
Some take money
Some take memories
We are left to gath­er up the shame

Xane Anuş

Kedistan : This article was written in reaction against the systematic confiscation by the Turkish forces of repression of the bodies of the ones who committed suicide in jail in the past month, followed by the banning of their burial by the families and their close ones, tying this punitive practice to all the other discriminations the Turkish State practices against the Kurds.

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
Vous pouvez utiliser, partager les articles et les traductions de Kedistan en précisant la source et en ajoutant un lien afin de respecter le travail des auteur(e)s et traductrices/teurs. Merci.
Kedistan’ın tüm yayınlarını, yazar ve çevirmenlerin emeğine saygı göstererek, kaynak ve link vererek paylaşabilirisiniz. Teşekkürler.
Ji kerema xwere dema hun nivîsên Kedistanê parve dikin, ji bo rêzgirtina maf û keda nivîskar û wergêr, lînk û navê malperê wek çavkanî diyar bikin. Spas.
You may use and share Kedistan’s articles and translations, specifying the source and adding a link in order to respect the writer(s) and translator(s) work. Thank you.
Por respeto hacia la labor de las autoras y traductoras, puedes utilizar y compartir los artículos y las traducciones de Kedistan citando la fuente y añadiendo el enlace. Gracias.
Auteur(e) invité(e)
Auteur(e)s Invité(e)s
AmiEs con­tributri­ces, con­tribu­teurs tra­ver­sant les pages de Kedis­tan, occa­sion­nelle­ment ou régulièrement…