Statement of protest against the detention of Kurdish women activists in Diyarbakır
Berlin, March 24, 2022
To whom it may concern:
We strongly denounce the raids, detentions, and interrogations of around 24 women from the city of Diyarbakır, one of the largest cities in the Kurdish region of Turkey, by the police since the early hours of March 16, 2022, when the authorities began to raid their homes as part of a concerted anti-feminist investigation against women activists that was launched by the local Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2021, following the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the protest against Turkey’s withdrawal from the İstanbul Convention on November 25, 2021, as well as the March 8th International Women’s Strike day demonstrations.
Through our friends from The Purple Meridians, a project on gender equality in the film industry, we learned that between March 16 and 17, eleven of the women were arrested and sent to prison. Detainees included the former co-mayor of the Sur district, union officials, members of City council, HDP party members, and women’s rights activists. Seven, including the president and two members of the women’s association Rosa Kadın Derneği, were released with the obligation to report to the authorities on a daily basis. According to first-hand accounts, the detainees were kept in deliberately miserable conditions for almost two days before being called to testify before a judge starting at near midnight on March 17 and throughout the night – apparently a well-known intimidation technique meant to add psychological pressure on the detainees.
We second the statements issued by The Purple Meridians and other organizations that call for the immediate release of the eleven arrested women and the suspension of the ongoing persecution of the seven already released ones. The Diyarbakır authorities need to come to their senses and fully comply to the fundamental nature of women rights, gender equality, and the freedom of expression. As much as this may appear like a futile gesture of protest from a distant place, we want to assert our deep solidarity with the women activists and cultural workers from Diyarbakır. We’re thus joining the translocal effort at protesting the legal and police violence exerted against women whose right to political and cultural action cannot be denied.
Harun Farocki Institut, Berlin
March 24th, 2022 — Rosa Mercedes
Tatsiana Shchurko on the War in Ukraine, Entangled Imperialisms, and Transnational Feminist Solidarity, via LeftEast (May 2, 2022): “[An] uneven knowledge production and the many implications of the war against Ukraine reveal the dire need to develop a feminist anti-capitalist critique of multiple imperialisms. This language should grow from within the occupied and suppressed communities of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. An anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist feminist positionality grasps that the local is part of a global in an effort to build transnational connections of mutual aid and support against state and corporate violence. For example, statements of solidarity with Ukraine expressed by the International Committee of Indigenous Peoples of Russia and Native American communities along with the anti-war feminist march in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) on March 8, 2022, pointing out that the war in Ukraine should be of concern for a broad transnational community, may serve as instrumental examples of alternative anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist solidarities that stretch beyond state regulations and macro-politics and foreground decolonial perspectives, necessary in addressing entanglements of multiple imperialisms. Such solidarities also bring to light hidden interconnections of the past that allowed for distant communities to survive and support each other against the violence of imperialist intervention and its attendant capitalist exploitation. Thus, the march in Bishkek reminds of the socialist roots of the International Women’s Day to call for internationalist, intersectional, class solidarity against imperialism and militarism.”
Vasyl Cherepanyn on that “It’ll take more than tanks to ease Germany’s guilt” (via Politico): “Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, Germany has been imposing neocolonial optics on its Eastern European ‘peripheries,’ and on the post-Soviet space in particular, where Ukraine was long considered a gray buffer zone about which the EU was ‘deeply concerned.’ Germany didn’t bother itself much with differentiating between former Soviet countries’ pasts. Even until recently, any Ukrainian agenda in Germany was often ‘balanced’ with a Russian perspective, so as to not exclude the latter by any means.”
An unnamed anarchist and art scholar, who joined the Territorial Defense Forces, quoted by Olexii Kuchanskyi in an essay on “Digital Leviathan and His Nuclear Tail” (via Your Art and e-flux notes): “At dawn, Dima and I talked about cinema. Dima believes that cinema is inferior to literature as a means of expression because you spend much more time with a book than a film. It’s a really interesting point, something to dig into. I studied at the department of art theory & history and I never thought of it. Dima served in the military after school and worked at the factory all his life. He listens to rap, smokes pot, and tries to have fun. He is thirty-eight, his child was born last year. He likes Wong Kar-wai and is a fan of Asian cinema in general. Dima communicates by quoting Omar Khayyam, Confucius, and other awesome guys.”
April 20th, 2022
Vasyl Cherepanyn (Visual Culture Research Centre, Kyiv) on Putin’s “World War Z” and the West’s deadly “foot-dragging”, via Project Syndicate: “The main feature of this Western condition is constant belatedness. The West has always been too late, incapable of acting ahead and instead just reacting to what has already happened. As a Ukrainian joke went at the time, ‘While the European Union was taking a decision, Russia took Crimea.’ Then as now, Ukrainians wondered, ‘What is the West’s red line? What will compel the West to act instead of waiting and discussing when to intervene?’”
Barbara Wurm on Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravičius, killed in Mariupol, via Die Welt: “Kvedaravičius unfolded a whole spectrum of visual anthropology over a decade with only three films [Barzakh, Mariupolis, Parthenon]. It now awaits evaluation and exploration. The time will come. The films themselves make possible an infinite immersion in the matter of the world, between dream and reality, horror and everyday life, facts and phenomenal imagology.”
April 5th, 2022
Statement by #AfricansFromUA on Equal Treatment via e-flux notes: “Non-Ukrainian nationals from the war in Ukraine arriving in Germany have been facing very different terms of treatment—both in different federal states and cities but also within the very same city throughout time and different facilities. While some received so called ‘Fictitious Certificates’ for one year without further procedures others were pressured to submit an asylum application with their finger prints registered and passports seized. Again others were given a so called “Duldung” including the threat of deportation.”
April 5th, 2022