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© Dilar Dirik
Commune of the Revolutionary Youth Movement at Makhmour Refugee Camp, Northern Iraq

Project led by Dr Dilar Dirik, Joyce Pearce Junior Research Fellow, 2019-2023

This project maps layers of statelessness and self-determination in Kurdistan by focusing on refugee communities and camps that organise themselves along the Kurdish freedom movement’s notion of ‘democratic autonomy’. These include autonomously-organised camps in various regions of the Middle East, as well as a community in Greece. What can we learn about democracy concepts by looking at practices of refugee self-determination that seek to transcend the nation-state? A second aspect of the project examines Kurdish women’s quests for justice in the aftermath of episodes of large-scale political violence. Drawing on feminist ideas around transformative justice, it reviews the ways in which women in the region define their means of political action between ‘NGO-ization’ and system change. Among other things, this entails mapping protests and analysing publications of various women’s organisations. Finally, the project makes a theoretical contribution to the study of statelessness and non-state resistance.

Selected publications