THE BATTLE FOR THE MOUNTAIN OF THE KURDS
September 19, 2019 - New York City
UPDATE: The author Thomas Schmidinger was originally scheduled to appear in person at Bluestockings Books. However, due to the fact the author was denied entry on his flight by Homeland Security, Mr. Schmidinger will give his talk via Skype at the regularly scheduled time and location.
In early 2018, Turkey invaded the autonomous Kurdish region of Afrin in Syria and is currently threatening to ethnically cleanse the region. Between 2012 and 2018, the “Mountain of the Kurds” (Kurd Dagh) had been one of the quietest regions in a country otherwise torn by civil war. After the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the Syrian army withdrew from the region, enabling the Party of Democratic Union (PYD) to introduce a Kurdish self-administration and later to establish the Canton Afrin as one of the three parts of the heavily Kurdish Democratic Federation of North-Syria, or Rojava. This self-administration, which had seen multi-party elections in 2017, included autonomy for a number of ethnic and religious groups, and provided a safe haven for up to 300,000 Syrian refugees, is now at risk of being annihilated.
Thomas Schmidinger is one of the very few Europeans to have visited the Canton of Afrin. In his newest book, The Battle for the Mountain of the Kurds: Self-Determination and Ethnic Cleansing in the Afrin Region of Rojava, he presents an account of the history and the present situation of the Rojava region. In a number of interviews, Schmidinger has given inhabitants of the region from a variety of ethnicities, religions, political orientations, and walks of life the opportunity to speak for themselves. As the author writes, “the battle for the Mountain of the Kurds is far from over yet.”
Thomas Schmidinger is a political scientist and a cultural and social anthropologist. He teaches at the University of Vienna and is both secretary-general of the Austrian Society for the Promotion of Kurdology and coeditor of the Vienna Kurdish Studies Yearbook. He is the author of a number of books on migration, cultural integration, the Middle East, and other topics, several of which have been translated. His previously translated book Rojava: Revolution, War and the Future of Syria’s Kurds was published by Pluto Press in 2018. His newest book is The Battle for the Mountain of the Kurds: Self-Determination and Ethnic Cleansing in the Afrin Region of Rojava (PM Press, 2019).
Thursday, September 19, 2019
7 PM – 10 PM
Bluestockings Bookstore, Café, & Activist Center
172 Allen St, New York
New York 10002
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