Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Politics Of The Future (English Version)

From H&M to Kobani (Part V) [> Hier geht's zur deutschsprachigen Version.]

Female fighters of the Kurdish PKK "People's Defense Units" (HPG / YJA STAR) in their typical jumpsuit uniforms (Archive Pic). At the moment, they fight in Iraq and Syria against the ISIL jihadists.
2014 they saved the lives of tens of thousands of Yazidis, a Kurdish religious minority. 
via Twitter Sham Al-Ghazali ‏ 23. Oct. 2014

"You (people) in the West should understand that we are not only fighting a military war here, but also a social, cultural battle. Karl Marx said that civilisation can be measured by the status of the woman in society. The Sunni jihadists want to make sex slaves out of us, just like they did with the Yazidi women. They want to humiliate and oppress women. Yet they have shot women and not beheaded them. But us female Kurds they decapitate, because in their ignorance, bigotry and in their fanatism they believe that they don't come into paradise if they are killed by a woman."
(Kimat Mut, female PKK fighter from Siirt (South-East Anatolia), translated from German: Lorenzo Cremonesi: "Der Krieg der Frauen" (The War of the Women), in: Focus 42 / 2014
(13th of Oct. 2014), p. 41)

With these introducing words, in the maybe last part of my series "From H&M to Kobani" I want to fragmentarily* get on to the emancipatory and utopian potentials of the Kurdish freedom fight fallen into oblivion in the light of all the atrocities of the civil wars in Syria and Iraq, and finally also want to come back to cultural aspects like fashion and pop music. It was inevitable that at it, despite of all essential differences between the Kurdish organisations and utterly different situations in Turkey, in Syria and in Iraq, I 'jump around' a bit between them. On the other hand, after all the (especially during the 1990s also inner-Kurdish) bloodshed, rapprochements and reconciliations are on the agenda anyway, and the latest collaboration of the governmental Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga with the allied forces of the Turkish-Kurdish PKK and Syrian-Kurdish YPG / YPJ can make us feel a bit optimistic in this respect.

* These snippets, findings and aphorisms / thoughts compiled by me surely are neither impartial nor comprehensive, but I hope that this kaleidoscope of fragments appears just as interesting and inspiring to you, dearest readers, like to me. Maybe it even causes reactions / discussions or is at least thought-provoking, invites for further involvement or to any kind of activity. As (is) usual, there is also a wild mix of impressing, further below also gorgeous, pictures again and even a terrific pop video and cool / smart Kurdish (inspired) fashion as 'reward' for reading! (^.^) According to custom in this blog, there will be no bloody pictures here, we have enough of them on the news and on YouTube. Quite the opposite: after an appropriate start concerning the realities, finally it even gets really beautiful! I hope, reality keeps up to this positive course... ♥

Culture of remembrance: Honouring the dead

A graveyard in Kurdistan
Photo via Agit Hüseyin, Twitter 15th of Aug. 2014

So let us start with the saddest part, with in all wars omnipresent death. Especially the Kurdish history is full of terrible governmental massacres on this biggest nation without an own state – in Turkey, in Iraq, in Iran and in Syria, where in each of them there is a traditionally oppressed, huge Kurdish population. Also, with all media 'oversaturation' we shouldn't forget that in the terrible military conflicts on all sides everyday many people are dying – I surely not think about the slaughterers of the 'Islamic State', who now really do not deserve something else anymore, but much more about civilians of no matter which nation, but also of 'common' Turkish, Syrian or Iraqi soldiers and police(wo)men and the many Kurds who in the last decades pointlessly lost their lives for an often by all sides failed politics or even in inner-Kurdish conflicts. It remains to be hoped that one day crimes from all sides will be elucidated in the countries in question and a real reconciliation process will be started like for example in South Africa after the victory of the ANC over the apartheid regime ("Truth and Reconciliation Commission" 1996-1998). Unfortunately, for something like that even in Turkey it seems to be too soon right now, and especially Turkey shows little interest in filling the peace process started in 2013 and the ceasefire of the PKK with deeds also in reality, but sadly even in the last time acts habitually aggressive and only interested in dubious, own 'benefits'.

Kurdish culture of remembrance in Iraq: One of the worst chapters of Kurdish history is the time of the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. In the town of Sulaymaniyah there is a kind of 'torture museum', Amna Suraka, in which this memorial has been arranged. Each piece of glass representing one of the hundreds of thousands of victims under Hussein. Each light bulb representing one of the 5,400 Kurdish villages destroyed.
Photo von (ca. Jan. 2013)

The Kurdish guerilla groups PKK (Turkey) and YPG / YPJ (Syria) honour their dead as 'martyrs', which is criticized sometimes also as 'death cult', but can be seen in the light of the numerous victims as a form of a culture of remembrance, to not let the fallen fade into oblivion. Here exemplarily two female martyrs who lost their life in the Kurdish struggle for liberation (the German PKK fighter Andrea Wolf alias Ronahî) resp. for the defense of Kobani / Rojava (the female Syrian-Kurdish YPJ commander Deilar Kanj Khamis alias Arin Mirkan). In this sense: Against the oblivion!

Andrea Wolf (Ronahî)
*15. Jan. 1965 † 23. Oct. 1998

Monument for the German internationalist and PKK fighter Andrea Wolf (Kurdish Nom de guerre: Ronahî, photo to the left), killed with 40 of her companions by the Turkish military on October 23, 1998.
Up to today, the exact circumstances of her death are unexposed by Turkey. It seems, she was killed after she has been arrested (!).
Coming from the subversive autonomous Munich Punk scene (the Sponti group "Freizeit 81"), beside other movements, in Germany she has been active in the anti-nuclear movement, in anti-racist, anti-fascist and internationalist initiatives, as a squatter and as supporter of political prisoners.
Çatak (Şax) (Province of Van, East Anatolia), Turkey.
The dedication to Andrea Wolf on the monument reads:

This gracious one gave her life for the Kurdish people. As long as this people exist they will be grateful.

Arîn Mîrkan (Deilar Kanj Khamis)
† 5th of Oct. 2014

Female Syrian-Kurdish YPJ commander Deilar Kanj Khamis (better known under her Kurdish Nom de guerre Arîn Mîrkan) gave her life on the 5th of October 2014 for the defending of Kobani (Free Republic of Rojava), destroyed a tank and sent 15 ISIL jihadists to hell. She was a mother of two children.

~ R. I. P. Arîn Mîrkan ~


Christian Syrian-Kurdish YPJ fighter Ceylan Ozalp
Gif-Pic via

“When they see a woman with a gun, they’re so afraid they begin to shake. They portray themselves as tough guys to the world. But when they see us with our guns they run away. They see a woman as just a small thing. But one of our women is worth a hundred of their men”

19-year-old Ceylan Ozalp * (Kurdish Nom de guerre: Berivan Sason, according to other sources Diren ("resist")) in a famous interview with the BBC about ISIL.

* It has been wrongly reported in the media, Ceylan Ozalp (who became famous through some interviews she gave) has been surrounded in the end of September 2014 by ISIL terrorists and that she fought until she run out of ammunition, said "goodbye" then over the radio and shot herself with her last bullet to avoid being raped by the jihadist slaughterers. It seems, this sad story itself is true, but it was not Ceylan, but according to Ceylan Ozalp a female friend of her.
Ceylan Ozalp is still alive and still is fighting with the YPJ against the ISIL.

The war in Syria lets no choice: Even civilians arm themselves.
A Kurdish mother and daughter defend themselves against the ISIL jihadists. 

Even though surely all of us wish the wars in Iraq and in Syria would come to an end sooner rather than later, sadly the fight against the 'Islamic State' (ISIL) probably will take some more time. Recently at least rather positive news are reaching us. Whether in Northern Syrian town of Kobani, in the Iraqi Sinjar (Shingal) mountains – where already last August the PKK, banned in the EU as 'terroristic' organisation, has saved the lives of tens of thousands Yazidis surrounded by the Islamistic ISIL slaughterers by opening an escape corridor – or around the Iraqi megapolis Mosul, everywhere ISIL is pushed back, meanwhile united [by Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga, Turkish-Kurdish PKK, Syrian-Kurdish YPG / YPJ (women's units) and through air strikes by the anti-ISIL coalition], even though it seems that this is a quite viscous business.

“We are not lovers of the weapon. We are not lovers of the fighting. We are not lovers of the killing.
All of us wanted to live a safe life, but we live in an emergency situation”
(female YPJ fighter in an interview with Mirava News, 28. Sept. 2014)

The frontlines (not only) in Kobani are changing daily, but in the last time the successes in the fight against ISIL were piling up. Above the situation on 26th of December 2014, when the jihadists (futile) tried it with drones (!), after also their suicide and car bomb attacks have achieved no successes, and below the situation from 5th of January 2015. Meanwhile the YPG/YPJ (yellow pennon) gets support from the PKK (red flag) and parts of the insurgent 'Free Syrian Army' (FSA) (green-white-black flag). Together with in the mean time arrived Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga fighters they have further pushed back ISIL.

“People of Kobane have always had the spirit of resistance. They have never surrendered; it has no place in their culture. Every warrior of YPG/YPJ said the terrorists can capture Kobane only by walking on the warriors dead bodies. The martyrs Erish, Zozan, Emin, Kendal and symbol of our resistance Arin Mirkan are manifestations of this spirit of resistance. (...) Europe and the USA should know that we are fighting Jihadi terrorists with AK-47 light infantry weapons and our will power."
Mahmud Berxwedan (YPG commander): Kobane is Resisting for Humanity, 22. Dec. 2014

Where does this almost indomitable will and the power to, at endless sacrifice, stand up against the most incredible cruelties come from?

The following points – and extracts from the maybe most progressive constitution of the world, the Charter of the Social Contract of Rojava (the Northern-Syrian region in which also Kobani is located), from which I have sprinkled many passages further below – might give an idea.


Female PKK fighter with flowers & camera, laughing.
(Archive Pic) via Agit Hüseyin, Twitter 21. Aug. 2014

Without humour and zest for life, the terror is not to be borne / withstood – this, the Kurds themselves know the best, that is why this aspect plays a major role. In a video from Vice News from the besieged Kobani I have seen YPG/YPJ fighters who kidded around with a toy snake in a pause in the fighting, ate smarties or were hearty laughing amidst the ruins. That is why I am also a 'fan' of jokes (inevitably remaining cynical) at the expense of the #daeshbags (Twitter term for the ISIL jihadists (Arabic: daesh), mixed out of daesh and douchebags), like the following fake paper "Daeshi Times". (^.^)

PKK / YPJ fighters: Laughing and kicking ISIL #daeshbags asses since half a year
(Archive Pic) via Agit Hüseyin, Twitter 4. Sept. 2014

Anti-Militarism & Desire for Peace

Don't let a general arise in yourselves!
Gilles Deleuze / Félix Guattari:
Mille plateaux (A Thousand Plateaus) 1980

"If I'm guilty of something, then because also me has been infected by the culture of power and war. I became a part of this game, because with nearly religious conviction I have believed that, to reach freedom, a state and, for this again, a war would be necessary. Only a few freedom fighters who have moved on in the name of the oppressed could save themselves from this disease."
PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan: Jenseits von Staat, Macht und Gewalt (Beyond state, power and violence), Mesopotamien Verlag 2010, p. 3, translated from German

It might appear surprising that guerilla organisations speak out against 'militarism', but exactly this will be of vital importance for the build-up of civil societies in the embattled territories as well as in the countries of in the last years crushed revolutions (Egypt, Libya, Syria, Turkey...).

Especially since the fall of the Berlin Wall, also we in the West have accustomed ourselves already as much to wars, shipments of arms and alleged military 'solutions' that even professed pacifists and revolutionaries far too quick are falling into the 'militarism trap'
(how visionary & revolutionary have been the sexy-sage brains Deleuze & Guattari again!!!).

In this context also the self-critical words of the PKK co-founder and longtime chairman Ozalan (second quote above), being held incommunicado in Turkey, are to be seen and to be appreciated, and it is important and gratifying that this is mentioned also in the Preamble of the Charter of the Social Contract of Rojava (Northern-Syria) which has been initiated and in January 2014 mutually approved by the PKK allied Syrian-Kurdish PYD party (whose fighting units the YPG / YPJ are) and organisations of other resident ethnic or religious groups:

"In building a society free from authoritarianism, militarism, centralism and the intervention of religious authority in public affairs, the Charter recognizes Syria’s territorial integrity and aspires to maintain domestic and international peace."

Where the Kurds can live in peace, it can look like that: Erbil, the capital of Iraqi-Kurdistan, celebrating the liberation of Shingal from ISIL on the evening of 20th of Dec. 2014
Photo via Twitter RebazZedbagi

Democratic Confederalism

One of the most remarkable and most positive developments of the PKK is comprised of the dismissal of its former goal of an own state independent from Turkey. Instead of a Kurdish national state, inspired by the libertarian-socialist communalism ideas of the US-American 'eco-anarchist' Murray Bookchin (1921-2006) a direct Democratic Confederalism is propagated:

"(...) the foundation of a state does not increase the freedom of a people. The system of the United Nations that is based on nation-states has remained inefficient. Meanwhile, nation-states have become serious obstacles for any social development. Democratic confederalism is the contrasting paradigm of the oppressed people. Democratic confederalism is a non-state social paradigm (...) based on grass-roots participation. Its decision-making processes lie with the communities. Higher levels only serve the coordination and implementation of the will of the communities that send their delegates to the general assemblies. (...) In the Middle East, democracy cannot be imposed by the capitalist system and its imperial powers which only damage democracy. (...) (G)rass-roots democracy is (...) the only approach that can cope with diverse ethnical groups, religions, and class differences. (...) Democratic confederalism in Kurdistan is an anti-nationalist movement as well. It aims at realizing the right of self-defence of the peoples by the advancement of democracy in all parts of Kurdistan without questioning the existing political borders. Its goal is not the foundation of a Kurdish nation-state. The movement intends to establish federal structures in Iran, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq that are open for all Kurds and at the same time form an umbrella confederation for all four parts of Kurdistan."
(Democratic Confederalism By Abdullah Ocalan - International Initiative Edition 2011)

Political participation

"In pursuit of freedom, justice, dignity and democracy and led by principles of equality and environmental sustainability, the Charter proclaims a new social contract, based upon mutual and peaceful coexistence and understanding between all strands of society. It protects fundamental human rights and liberties and reaffirms the peoples’ right to self-determination.

Under the Charter, we, the people of the Autonomous Regions, unite in the spirit of reconciliation, pluralism and democratic participation so that all may express themselves freely in public life.
In building a society free from authoritarianism, militarism, centralism and the intervention of religious authority in public affairs, the Charter recognizes Syria’s territorial integrity and aspires to maintain domestic and international peace.

In establishing this Charter, we declare a political system and civil administration founded upon a social contract that reconciles the rich mosaic of Syria through a transitional phase from dictatorship, civil war and destruction, to a new democratic society where civic life and social justice are preserved."

(Charter of the Social Contract - Self-rule in Rojava, Preamble)

Leyla Imret, 27-years-old, third youngest mayor in Turkey (Cizre town, South-East Anatolia, Northern Kurdistan), daughter of a PKK martyr, doesnt speak Turkish (^.^), but Kurdish - and German.
The trained hairdresser has been living for years in the German town of Bremen.
Photo via #TwitterKurds (11. Dec. 2014)

Astonishing young, surprisingly 'female' - due to a female quota and the will to a social awakening, again and again regions inhabited by Kurds positivly surprise, for instance at the mayoral elections in the predominantly Kurdish areas of Turkey in spring 2014, when along with Leyla Imret (photo) from the left-wing Kurdish party BDP (which won the council elections in nearly all Kurdish provinces) 121 further mayoresses moved into the Kurdish townhalls. This party always fills its leadership with a dual female-male leadership. A social revolution for the patriarchal structured region.


Two female PKK fighters hugging each other
(Archive Pic) via Agit Hüseyin, Twitter 22. Sept. 2014

Feminism & Gender Rights

Article 27
Women have the inviolable right to participate in political, social, economic and cultural life.

Article 28
Men and women are equal in the eyes of the law. The Charter guarantees the effective realization of equality of women and mandates public institutions to work towards the elimination of gender discrimination.

Article 87
All governing bodies, institutions and committees shall be made up of at least forty percent (40%) of either sex.
(Charter of the Social Contract - Self-rule in Rojava)

Gender critical cartoons from the official webpage of the
social democratic Iraqi-Kurdish party PUK
Cartoons via PUK Media

The traditional patriarchal gender relations are under fire in all Kurdish societies (see the PUK cartoons from Iraq), what led to the establishment of numerous women's organisations both in civil society as well as in the combat units and to a vast upheaval of gender relations which is far from over.
The Turkish-Kurdish PKK programmatically even refers to matriarchal societies. Also in the social contract of the revolutionary Syrian Rojava, women's and gender rights are written in capital letters (see the extracts above).

Respect of Nature

Article 23
b – Everyone has the right to live in a healthy environment, based on ecology balance.
 (Charter of the Social Contract - Self-rule in Rojava, III Rights and Liberties)

Everything is scarce... but for the kittens still is something left...
PKK Gerîla (Archive Pic)
via Agit Hüseyin, Twitter 25. Sept. 2014

Article 90
The Charter guarantees the protection of the environment and regards the sustainable development of natural ecosystems as a moral and a sacred national duty.
 (Charter of the Social Contract - Self-rule in Rojava, IX General Rules)

It seems, also animals like the Kurds... (^.^)
via Agit Hüseyin, Twitter 16. Aug. 2014

"All slavery is based on housewifisation"
Quote by PKK chairman Abdullah Ocalan, who since his abduction by the Turkish secret service in 1999 is detained in solitary confinement on the Turkish prison island Imrali 

"The #PKK is regarded as a freedom...Şevbaş"
via Agit Hüseyin, Twitter 10. Sept. 2014

Religious freedom & separation of state and religion

Article 31
Everyone has the right to freedom of worship, to practice one’s own religion either individually or in association with others. No one shall be subjected to persecution on the grounds of their religious beliefs.
(Charter of the Social Contract - Self-rule in Rojava, III Rights and Liberties)

Article 92
a)- The Charter enshrines the principle of separation of religion and State.
b)- Freedom of religion shall be protected. All religions and faiths in the Autonomous Regions shall be respected. The right to exercise religious beliefs shall be guaranteed, insofar as it does not adversely affect the public good.
(Charter of the Social Contract - Self-rule in Rojava, IX General Rules)

Minority Christians, many of them driven from their homes by Islamic State terrorists, are celebrating Christmas in Iraqi Kurdistan on 25th of December 2014.
At a Christmas Eve Mass in Erbil, they were assured that Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities are welcome in the Kurdish region.

Photo via PUK Media

Not only in revolutionary Rojava, also in the autonomous region Iraqi Kurdistan in Iraq (officially recognized already since 2005, thereto see my info box in part IV of this series: The Politics Of The In-Between) all segments of the population enjoy freedom of religion along with separation of state and religion. This position is trustworthy for all big Kurdish organisations, parties (KDP & PUK in Iraq, BDP in Turkey, PYD in Syria) and combat units (like Peshmerga in Iraq, PKK in Turkey, YPG/YPJ in Syria). Regarding this, it might help that the Kurds themselves often are not so extremely religious and, probably because of their history, can empathize into the role of oppressed minorities. Since, unfortunately, (not only) in the Middle East this is anything but a given, more and more religious minorities resort in the Kurdish-dominated regions (to this, also see the photo of Iraqi Christians in Erbil / Iraqi Kurdistan).

Cultural Freedoms

Article 23
a – Everyone has the right to express their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and gender rights

Kurdish Yazidi Girl from Erbil (Kurdish: Hewlêr), the Capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Many Yazidis fled the ISIL terrorists into the Kurdish administrated regions.
Photo via

Article 33
Everyone has the freedom to obtain, receive and circulate information and to communicate ideas, opinions and emotions, whether orally, in writing, in pictorial representations, or in any other way.

Anti-ISIL cartoon from the webpage of Iraqi-Kurdish PUK party

Article 35
Everyone has the right to freely experience and contribute to academic, scientific, artistic and cultural expressions and creations, through individual or joint practice, to have access to and enjoy, and to disseminate their expressions and creations.
 (Charter of the Social Contract - Self-rule in Rojava, III Rights and Liberties)

'Islamic State' in Syria:
Everywhere the jihadi ISIL slaughterers fall in, there is no more freedom of expression...
Photo via Twitter #Cahit Storm, 24th of Dec. 2014


Even in war there has to be time for a bit of 'beauty'!
Female PKK / YPJ fighters during a break
A YPJ fighter with a pigtail on a ceremony in Qamishlo (Rojava Region, Northern Syria) on 30th of Dec. 2014
Pic left undated (via #Twitter Kurds), right pic by Delilsouleman (cut-out)

Kurdish refugee children from Kobani

Jenan Moussa, a female Arabian journalist on the Turkish-Syrian border, reports via Twitter:

1st time ever Mediya, Amina & Zaina leave their homes in #Kobane. Now refugees. They cried last nite cz they miss home

... and another day:
Dignity of refugees: Mediya, Amina & Zaina tell me: pls come back 2mrw. We'll wear nicer clothes & brush our hair so we can look nice on pic.

Newroz (Kurdish New Year) in Kirkuk (Iraq)
The young Iraqi-Kurdish women have had more luck in the last years in comparatively peaceful Iraqi-Kurdistan - until the ISIL slaughterers invaded there. Fortunately, at least the Kurdish parts of Iraq are already reclaimed widely. :-)


 Kobanê (Rojava Region, Northern Syria)
Early January 2015:
Where war left nothing but destruction...
Photo by Perwer Muhammad Ali

...fantasy is requested...

The first pic is like a metaphor for everything the Islamistic ISIL jihadists stand for. Whereever they are, there is nothing but destruction, death and pain. The second pic represents a hopefully brighter future for the Kurds and all the people in the Middle East.

A people being oppressed since such a long time, sometimes has to flee into the world of fantasy. I love Kurdish kitsch!!! In a moment comes my favourite Kurdish music video, the Latin/Middle East-R&B-Pop song "Risk It All" (2014) from Kurdish singer Helly Luv. Apart from the bombastic outfits and stylings, the video also contains numerous references to the Kurdish culture (for example, to the folk dances and to the Nowruz (Kurdish: Newroz) celebrations), symbolics and history, like also to her personal biography.

"Fight for what you believe in even if the whole world is against you"
Helly Luv - No Fear
Helly Luv Official Press Pic

Helly Luv (Helan Abdulla) was born in 1988 in Iran, close to the border to Iraq. Living in Saddam Husseins Iraq and threatend with death, her family had to flee, first to Turkey, then they have been one of the first Kurdish immigrants in Finland. Today she lives in Los Angeles, but hasn't lost her relation to and the commitment for her homeland, todays autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. The video has been shot in the citadel of the capital Erbil (Kurdish: Hêwler) and in a refugee camp there with Syrian refugees. In July 2014, during the defense against ISIL, Helly Luv visited the Peshmerga headquarters in the city of Duhok, close to Mosul, with a mission to deliver food and water to the peshmerga troops.

Because of the 'sexual laxity' of the video, some islamistic groups threatened her with death.

Right after I just have elected the Music & Fashion Video of the last Year, herewith also the
Prize for the most stylish Molotov cocktail throw of the year 2014
should be awarded unrivalled. (^.^)
I ♥ Helly Luv!!!

... and I love this hand jewellery & adornments!!!

All screenshots of Helly Luv's Official Video "Risk It All" by STYLE! IT! TAKES! Blog Berlin


A way of an approach to cultural goods (in this case to fashion), practised by me, too, is appropriating them. I have done this for example with this series of articles "From H&M to Kobani" and in dealing with the H&M fall collection by 'rebuilding' the negated Kurdish context of the khaki-green jumpsuit and using it for information about the backgrounds of the Kurdish struggle for liberation. So appropriating is not the same as: buying. Appropriating means to put things autonomously in a context - either into the 'original' one or into another (we remember for example the appropriation of sexy flimsies (lingerie) like for example fishnet tights or corsets by the punks (underwear as outerwear)).

And so it didn't take long, too, until young women with (presumably) Kurdish background appropriated the H&M jumpsuit by combining it with a scarf in the traditional Kurdish colours, and with this connected the dots again which H&M has denied with great effort. I have found these pictures on the pages of "Kleiderkreisel" (means something like 'clothing roundabout') (a double, slightly damaged sample has been sold):

Very cool idea: to associate things again and politicise them
Cut-outs of screenshots from "Kleiderkreisel", 2. Dec. 2014 by STYLE! IT! TAKES!

I have bought nothing from the collection myself, but drew some inspiration from it in terms of colour (see photo row below) by combining the 'trend colours' antique pink (which is a favourite colour of me anyway) and khaki (which I didn't wear so far), because I liked the tension between the colour pink associated with ballet, silkiness and playfulness and the traditionally militarily connoted (but also with nature, where it actually comes from) colour khaki. The one embodies rather the utopian dream, the other the (ugly) reality. Thereto I took up a plastic labrys (also known as 'Amazon axe') since this weapon symbolically stands for feminism and women societies, which suits well to the Northern Syrian-Kurdish YPJ and the Turkish-Kurdish PKK, but also to our STYLE! IT! TAKES! project, and canvass with this outfit for donations for the (not only Kurdish) people in Rojava (see my post "Schon Revolutionssteuer gezahlt?"). By the way, you still are welcome to donate something - also small amounts help the Kurds in Rojava, besieged by the terroristic ISIL jihadists, and those in the refugee camps.

Bank Account:
Initiative Rojava
IBAN: DE30 5905 0101 0610 5088 48

With a bit of creativity and fantasy you can see that I took some inspiration from the H&M fall collection (left, Model: Natasha Poly) regarding the soft pink and 'fluffy' elements by wearing an underskirt from Vilorija Fashion Paris and also the khaki-colour as a top, combined with a belt suiting to the 'Kurdish style', which is kind of a heavy one relating to the militant context.
Photos: H&M / Style! It! Takes! Blog Berlin

It's getting winter in Kobanê - the people need our help!
Photo by DIHA (early Jan. 2015)

Fashion & Style

When there currently is not war or when all these damn wars are finally over, then hopefully we can look forward again to and about the traditionally colourful, playful and wonderful fashion of the Kurdish women. In that sense: a happy, hopeful and successful New Year (even if the Kurdish New Year, Newroz, is celebrated only in March, I wish it to them after all the horrors of the last year already now!), for the Kurds and for all peace-loving, solidary people in this world!

Young Kurdish Women in colourful dresses at Newroz (Kurdish NYE) 2013 in megapolis Sulaymaniyah (often also called Slemani) (Kurdish: Silêmanî), the second most important town of Iraqi Kurdistan


Thanks for the solidarity!

Overview of the series of articles "From H&M to Kobani"

The scandal about the H&M jumpsuit

My thoughts about the H&M statement

Interpretation of the H&M video (I) with info boxes about ISIL ('Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant') and the German Hooligans against Salafists (HoGeSa) and also criticism of the West and its partners Turkey, Saudi Arabia & Qatar

Interpretation of the H&M video (II) with info boxes about the Peshmerga, Iraqi Kurdistan und the PKK; call for help for the refugees

V. The Politics Of The Future (that's where you are!)
Past, present and perspectives of Kurdish politics, society & culture

Here are the photos of my outfit for my call for donations

Online hints
Mostly in English, German sources indicated


About German female PKK fighter Andrea Wolf:
About the female Kurdish mayor Leyla Imret in Turkey:
Frank Nordhausen: Friseurin aus Bremen wird Bürgermeisterin [in German]


Charter of the Social Contract - SELF-RULE IN ROJAVA
The great Social Contract of revolutionary region Rojava (Northern Syria):

Ercan Ayboğa: Das neue Rechtssystem in Rojava - Der Konsens ist entscheidend [in German]
A report from Free Rojava about the juridical system there - it would be a drama if the ISIL terrorists would crush all this:

Adam Curtis: Hierarchy in the UK - Anarchy in Kurdistan
An unprettified background story, especially about the theoretical developments of the PKK from Marxism and 'national liberation struggle' to the Anarchistic Communalism and about the question of a society with little hierarchies (with archive videos about the history of the PKK and about utopias and dystopias)

War coverage

Mahmud Berxwedan (Senior YPG Commander of Kobani): We Firmly Believe Kobane Will Triumph Soon (Interview from the 2nd of Jan. 2015).

Danny Gold'Welcome to Stalingrad. Welcome to Kobane': Inside the Syrian Town Under Siege by the Islamic State (VICE News, January 13, 2015)
Quite new photo report from the besieged town of Kobani.

Raniah Salloum: In Kobane gerät der Krieg ins Stocken (In Kobani, the war comes to a standstill) (22nd of December 2014) (Spiegel Online) [in German]
The German magazine Spiegel still regularly reports comparatively up to date.
Heribert Roth (WDR) / Carsten Stormer: Die Trümmermänner von Aleppo (The rubble men of Aleppo) (Video from the 7th of Dec. 2014) [in German]
About a group of around 100 young Syrian men who got together to pull out victims of bomb attacks out of the debris.
State Sources

United States Central Command
Here are the press declarations about the current bomb attacks of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition in Syria and Iraq. Of course, the Twitter account is even faster.

Activists & journalists providing news from and about Kurdistan:

Cahit Storm
Turkish-Kurdish activist & IT technician keeping his humour even in the most dramatic situations. Has been hiding in a pepper field close to Kobani to report from there for a long time. The peppers became one of his running gags. Now he is bringing donations he collected. Always very up to date.

Jenan Moussa

Roving Reporter for Arabic Al Aan TV (Dubai).
She was the one reporting from the three little refugee girls from Kobani, who wanted to brush their hair and dress more nicely before getting pictured.
Joan Salihi
Kurdish rights activist, Graduate student in criminal law
Norway & Hewler (Erbil, Iraqi-Kurdistan)
Posted PKK photos on 1st of Jan. 2015 and added, what the world is thinking:

"#USA,You admire our bravery towards #ISIS & our gender equality.
Yet my loves, you call us terrorists. We are the #PKK."

Thanks for reading & donating!!!
It has always been said, the Kurds would have no friends in the world. I'm very sure that they have found a great many new friends in the whole of the world in the last months. Maybe I could contribute to having even more now... :-)


  1. Someone sent me this link to show me that you have featured me in your blog, thank you for that and I happen to love the content very much also. Thanks for writing.

    1. Oh Joan, I just saw this now & I am so happy that you are writing!!! I love your work & tweets, I'm following you on Twitter (Magenta Netzwerk). :-) And I feel so honoured that you like my article(s). Have fun with the rest of my blog and yes - we will keep on fighting for the cause of humanity, freedom & beauty of life!!! ♥ Biji Kurdistan!!!

      p. s.: Sorry that you got to find your way through my not so perfect English. My original words are kinda very 'advanced German', but it's really difficult to adequately translate it. Seems you got it! ;-) (^.^)
      I'd love to continue with this topic. If you have something to spread or have an idea to keep our readers informed... I will love to spread it!!! And if there is anything beside horrible wars, especially about (Kurdish) arts, culture, music and fashion, please also tell me (us). Thanx again, Joan! So happy that you saw this!!! ♥♥♥

  2. Oh Joan, I just saw this now & I am so happy that you are writing!!! I love your work & tweets, I'm following you on Twitter (Magenta Netzwerk). :-) And I feel so honoured that you like my article(s). Have fun with the rest of my blog and yes - we will keep on fighting for the cause of humanity, freedom & beauty of life!!! ♥ Biji Kurdistan!!!

  3. p. s.: Sorry that you got to find your way through my not so perfect English. My original words are kinda very 'advanced German', but it's really difficult to adequately translate it. Seems you got it! ;-) (^.^)
    I'd love to continue with this topic. If you have something to spread or have an idea to keep our readers informed... I will love to spread it!!! And if there is anything beside horrible wars, especially about (Kurdish) arts, culture, music and fashion, please also tell me (us). Thanx again, Joan! So happy that you saw this!!! ♥♥♥