New World Summit—Rojava, part I
16-17 Oct. 2015, Dêrik, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava
VI Social Ecology
Deputy Chair of the Committee for Environment and Archeaology, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava
Revolutionary Abdullah Öcalan describes the model of stateless democracy as a step towards a new “ecology of freedom.” With the term ecology he refers to the importance to defend and protect our natural environment, but also to an ecology of social relations. Öcalan’s conviction is that stateless democracy as a self-governing society that enforces gender equality and develops communal forms of economy can change the very ecology of human relations. Öcalan’s proposes to move from the paradigm of capitalist modernity to what he refers to as democratic modernity.
Cizîrê canton is the largest of three cantons in Rojava. As part of the on-going Rojava campaign, its democratic autonomy was officially declared on 21 January 2014. Cizîrê canton’s population is composed of Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians-Syriacs and Armenians. While Kurdish, Arabic and Syriac-Aramaic are official languages, all communities have the right to teach and be taught in their native language. Religions practiced in the canton are Islam, Christianity and Yazidism. Between twenty to thirty percent of the canton’s population is Christian of various churches and denominations. All four ethnic communities – Kurds, Arabs, Armenians and the Assyrians – are represented in the canton’s hundred and one-seat Legislative Assembly. Since the revolution of 2011, Cizîrê has been the most stable part of Rojava, where one can witness the development of many new academic, educational and cultural institutions that recognize and promote the diverse and democratic ecology of the canton. Apart from an emphasis on social ecology, environmental development and the aim of creating a sustainable new society is a high priority, included in the Social Contract – the “constitution” of Rojava.
Ziyad Rustom is Deputy Minister of the Environment and Archeology of the Cizîrê canton of Rojava and a representative of the House of Yazidi's.
The New World Summit: Rojava, part I took place in the cultural centre Tev-Cand in Dêrik, canton Cizîrê, Rojava on 16-17 October 2015. The summit was chaired by Judy Osse. Ziyad Rustom's lecture was translated by Ciwan Mirzo during the summit and subtitled by Cihad Hammy.