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Öcalans Paradigm: Sociology of Freedom

By Network Women Weaving the Future

The webinar will be about Abdullah Öcalan’s perspectives on power and freedom. It will address how Öcalan conceptualizes power and hierarchy and how he proposes a sociology of freedom to rethink these concepts. During the webinar, we will also foreground how freedom is defined and lived in the Kurdish Freedom Movement both as a utopia and as a way of being and becoming here and now.

Webinar`s speaker: Nazan Üstündağ

Nazan Üstündağ received her PhD in 2005 from the sociology department at Indiana University Bloomington. Between 2005 and 2018, she worked as an Assistant Professor at Boğaziçi University, Department of Sociology.
Currently, she is an Academy in Exile and IIE-Scholar Rescue Fund Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien. Nazan’s dissertation examined different forms of subjectivities and belongings of rural-to-urban women in Istanbul and the life stories they craft in the intersection of the violence of state, capital and patriarchy. Aside from writing on urban belongings in the era of neoliberalism, Nazan wrote extensively on social policy, gendered subjectivities and state violence in Kurdistan.

She has also worked as a columnist in the journal Nokta and the newspaper Özgür Gündem. Her opinion pieces appeared in venues such as Bianet, T24, RoarMagazine and Jadaliyya. Üstündağ is a member of Women for Peace and Academics for Peace. Most recently, she is finishing a book manuscript with the working title “Mother, Politician and Guerilla: The Emergence of A New Political Cosmology in Kurdistan Through Women’s Bodies and Speech”.

The Network Women Weaving the Future, of which REPAK is a member, and which has organized the International Women’s Conference ‘Revolution in the Making’ 2018 in Frankfurt/Germany, is holding a new webinar series. This series will focus on Abdullah Ocalan and the Kurdish Freedom Movement’s paradigm.

Abdullah Ocalan, the founder and leader of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) has been imprisoned on a Turkish State prison-island for more than 22-years. His kidnapping in 1999 was an internationally planned NATO conspiracy. As he remains captive in an unprecedented situation – spending most of his time in solitary confinement – even his most basic human rights as a prisoner are being denied. He has no right to receive visitors, to communicate with the outside world, and for the past year there has not been a single sign of life from him.

Despite all isolation measures, Abdullah Ocalan’s ideas continue to break the boundaries of his physical conditions. The revolution in Rojava (North-East Syria), lead by women, is based on Ocalan’s paradigm of democracy, ecology and women’s liberation. His sophisticated and developed criticism of state-civilisation, power and Capitalist Modernity inspires the people of Kurdistan, the Middle-East and far beyond.

This webinar series will explore, from a women’s perspective, Abdullah Ocalan, his philosophy of freedom, and the Kurdish Liberation Movement’s struggle against all forms of oppression in the quest for the freedom of all. We will discuss crucial questions including: Who is Ocalan, the leader and thinker? Why and how is his philosophy a source of strength for freedom seekers around the world? And why does it frighten the power system?

Building Free Life: Dialogues with Öcalan
Beyond State, Power, and Violence
The Sociology of Freedom: Manifesto of the Democratic Civilization, Volume III
Capitalism: The Age of Unmasked Gods and Naked Kings (Manifesto of the Democratic Civilization, Volume II)
The Art of Freedom: A Brief History of the Kurdish Liberation Struggle