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Sakine Cansiz

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The 7th edi­tion of the “Sakine Sakine Can­sız Wom­en’s Fes­ti­val” is back this year fol­low­ing a slight delay due to the pan­dem­ic. It will take place on August 16 2020 in Zurich Switzerland.

This fes­ti­val focus­es on “Sarah” — Sakine Can­sız — and her strug­gle for Kur­dish women. It also empha­sizes how, giv­en the patri­ar­cal sys­tem dom­i­nat­ing the world every­where and at all times, the strug­gle is a duty for all women. This year, the geno­ci­dal attacks aimed at women will receive par­tic­u­lar attention.

The trans­mis­sion of ideas through art and cul­ture in a joy­ful atmos­phere is a hun­dred times more effi­cient in cre­at­ing links of sol­i­dar­i­ty than the thou­sands of fly­ers and arti­cles dis­trib­uted before the ink dries… All this, of course, with­out for­get­ting the suf­fer­ing, the lives lost nor those that were lost on vio­lent war fronts led by the occu­py­ing, col­o­niz­ing, pil­lag­ing, rap­ing patri­ar­cal spir­it… This edi­tion of the fes­ti­val is ded­i­cat­ed to women who car­ry on the com­bat and those who fell for the cause, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Heftanin.

Music, danc­ing, talks, exhi­bi­tions, meals, the “Sakine Can­sız Wom­en’s Fes­ti­val” will greet the pub­lic with a var­ied pro­gram all day. Chil­dren are espe­cial­ly wel­come this year, with a spe­cial play­ground planned for them.

The speci­fici­ty of this fes­ti­val is that, from orga­niz­ers to vol­un­teers, speak­ers to musi­cians, includ­ing the tech­ni­cians, as much as fea­si­ble, all con­trib­u­tors are women. Of course musi­cians accom­pa­ny­ing the singers are wel­come, as are all mem­bers of the public.

It is not for noth­ing that the women work­ing for the fes­ti­val have adopt­ed as their mot­to “orga­niz­ing togeth­er, ris­ing togeth­er”. They con­sid­er them­selves to be Sara’s suc­ces­sors, and wish to car­ry her ideas and ideals, and her fight­ing spir­it beyond the strug­gle of Kur­dish women onto the inter­na­tion­al stage. The 2020 edi­tion of this fes­ti­val will take place under the slo­gan “Wom­en’s resis­tance – until the wom­an’s era”.

Indeed, con­tain­ing as it does a real-life expe­ri­ence, a strong and spe­cif­ic thought, Sara’s strug­gle is both a pre­cur­sor and a guide to enrich­ing today’s fem­i­nist reflec­tion. Car­ried by her sis­ters, this life-affirm­ing phi­los­o­phy offers an unde­ni­able resource in order to strength­en strug­gles for eman­ci­pa­tion, equal­i­ty, rights, strug­gles led by women on all five con­ti­nents against patri­archy, machis­mo, sex­ism, eth­nic, reli­gious social and gen­der discim­i­na­tions, as well as vio­lence and feminicides.”

As a reminder, Sakine Can­sız was one of the co-founders of the Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Par­ty (PKK) and a fig­ure­head of the Kur­dish Wom­en’s Move­ment. She was assas­si­nat­ed on Jan­u­ary 9 2013 in Paris, along with two mil­i­tant Kur­dish com­rades, eyla Şayle­mez (Ron­ahî) and Fidan Doğan (Rojbîn). This triple assas­si­na­tion over which the inquest nev­er ceas­es to be be re-opened, is sub­ject­ed to every pres­sure imag­in­able by the Turk­ish Embassy in Paris…

sakine cansiz
Pri­or to the fes­ti­val, the orga­niz­ers called on Sakine’s friends and oth­ers who met her at var­i­ous times in her life, in order to put togeth­er a col­lec­tion of mem­o­ries… A fine trib­ute in view…

The pro­gram includes names and groups such as Xece, Ley­la Koçgün, Sil­bus û Tari, Nuarîn, Lizard and the Deer, Shatvî­ka Natanaalayam, and the Koroya Zarokan Chil­dren’s Choir. Guests will enjoy the impres­sive sound of the erbane, the Kur­dish drum, and may join in the govend dance, a kind of col­lec­tive gavotte!

Guests will par­take of tra­di­tion­al, home made foods pre­pared by the vol­un­teers… Under the main tent “Kıl çadır”, women dêng­bej will sing tra­di­tion­al kılam through­out the day. Axaft­van and spokesper­sons for the Kur­dish Wom­en’s Move­ment in Europe (TJK‑E) will speak in public.

Under its tent, Hey­va Sor a Kur­dis­tanê Swîrsre, the Kur­dis­tan Red Cres­cent of Switzer­land will hold an exhi­bi­tion of repro­duc­tions of Kur­dish artist, jour­nal­ist and author, Zehra Doğan. They con­sist of works cre­at­ed dur­ing her clan­des­tine peri­od in 2017, pri­or to her arrest, and of oth­ers she pro­duced while pro­hib­it­ed to do so in prison between 2017–18, repro­duced with logis­ti­cal sup­port from Kedis­tan thus pro­vid­ing its mod­est contribution.

Hey­va Sor Switzer­land will con­tin­ue its appeal in order to make it through the cur­rent dif­fi­cul­ties gen­er­at­ed by the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic on its aid ini­tia­tives. Donors can return to their home not only with a vivid mem­o­ry of this day but also with post­cards and posters of Zehra’s work, also offered in sol­i­dar­i­ty by Hey­va Sor.

All funds col­lect­ed dur­ing this ini­tia­tive will con­tribute to sup­port­ing fam­i­lies in the Makhmour refugee camp in the dis­trict of Mosul in Irak. Placed under embar­go for the past year, Makhmour is afflict­ed by a seri­ous eco­nom­ic cri­sis. Reg­u­lar­ly bombed by the Turk­ish Air Force, some 13 thou­sand peo­ple attempt to sur­vive under dif­fi­cult con­di­tions in the refugee camp. The sick can­not leave the camp for treat­ment. This sol­i­dar­i­ty is part of the dif­fer­ent actions car­ried out by Hey­va Sor.

For more infor­ma­tion, do not hes­i­tate in click­ing on the fol­low­ing links. Even from a dis­tance, you may also con­tribute by shar­ing the pub­li­ca­tions and the fes­ti­val’s pro­gram on your social and friend­ship relays.

Fes­ti­val Web­site | Face­book 1 | Face­book 2


Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges 
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Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.