”When we as women come together, build the base of our life together and defend each other together, there will be freedom, and with freedom there will be beauty.”
Cihan, Member of the Jinwar Committee
The idea of a womens village in Rojava was born years ago, building on a long and likewise hidden history of women-centered societies, spaces and utopias, also encouraged by Abdullah Ocalan who expressed the wish that women would create their own city. To build our own village for us not only means to live together, but it means the creation of another way of living, working and interacting. Looking back in history we find traces of this way of life: At times when the logic of state and capitalism did not yet shape society and everybodies lifes, women were often forming the center of society. Life was collective, communal and ecological. Now in the Capitalist Modernity we are facing a system of patriarchal dominance, destroying the foundation of society and depriving women of their energy and creativity.
The history, the idea of Abdullah Ocalan and the will of many women to create a communal and ecological life together lead us to the creation of JINWAR – the first womens village in the Middle East. By building up the village we want to challenge the destructive logic of the wars currently shaping the developments in the Middle East and we want to give an example that another life is possible. We hope that JINWAR will be inspiration to women all over the world to come together, build the base for a solidary life and defend this way of life together. For the coordination of the village building process we founded a committee. We are women of every age and different backrounds, we have different knowledge and diverse perspectives. In kurdish, arabic, turkish and english we are discussing about our ideas and the perspective of JINWAR. Because of these diversities JINWAR from the beginning on has been built in a colourful way. After a period of planning and discussing among women all over Rojava, seven months ago we started with the construction of JINWAR. We decided to build our houses the way people have built their houses in this region since long time ago. For this traditional and sustainable way of building it is important that the weather is warm and dry. For the bricks – kerpîç – we are using a mixture of earth, water and straw. After putting the mixture in a form made of wood, the bricks have to dry a few days until one can build the first walls with them. Until now – the beginning of September 2017 – we have built the fundament of 21 houses and we plan to finish the roofs and outside plastering of all these 21 houses before the start of the rainy autumn season. As soon as it starts to rain the kerpîç work will have to be suspended, because of that we have a lot of urgent construction work in these days. Besides the building of 30 houses we are working on a big communal garden, we are planning to build an academy of Jineoloji, a school for children, a house of health care focussing on natural and traditional medicine, as well as a lot of communal space where we can come together.
Our work in the village is very colorful as well. Some of us work on the construction, others prepare food, work in the garden, coordinate the groups who are coming for help or document the building process. Nearly every day people come to visit the village, to see the progress or support the work. Families from the nearest villages come by, we drink tea together and talk about their situation, about what is going on in their villages and about our ideas for the womens village. Lately we organized an education on ecology for a group of female teachers and they were helping us with the practical work as well. Another day a group of women writers came for a visit, promising us to write on Jinwar in their poetry, stories and articles. We are looking forward to receive their texts. Last week we organized a little celebration, inviting our neighbors from the villages around and many people from organizations and initiatives in the Cizre canton. Apart from these special occasions there is of course a bunch of things popping up every day: one day we have to organize more straw or wood, another day there is a dispute between two people we have to solve together, another day the water pump gets broken. Once a week we gather as a committee and talk about our life and work, we make proposals and criticize each other. We try to see what is going wrong and how we can support each other. And of course every day we live together, we eat together, we take care about the place together, we discuss and learn together, we deal with the tasks appearing day by day and we find solutions together. This work is often challenging, but it is a beautiful work and every day it makes us more confident to see the village grow.
By means of this newsletter we will regularly send you information on the building process as well as little insights in our thoughts and discussions. If you want to share something, if you have questions, proposals or want to discuss, just send us a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (Europe)
Or visit our homepage and facebook:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jinwarwomensvillage (english)
If you want to visit JINWAR or support the building process write us and we will find a way together.