ROJAVA 2 (2018)

In April 2016, I was invited to Rojava, Northern Syria, as a guest of the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (PYD), the region’s governing party, acting as an artist in residence. My film, Rojava 2, is my response to the trip, made using a combination of preliminary and follow up research, found footage and images, along with film, sound recordings and drawings gathered in the field.

Rojava 2 fuses the personal with the political in an essay documentary format. I drew inspiration from organisations like Forensic Architecture, the documentary essayist Hito Steyerl, and the deeply personal approach of the writer Holly Childs. I wanted to make a film that revealed the complex narratives at work in the region, past and present, and explored my relationship to it (and in doing so, the viewer’s.) I wanted to provide the viewer with an honest account of what I witnessed. In particular, I wanted to focus on the Democratic Confederalist movement in Rojava and the foreign fighters there from countries like the U.K.

Rojava 2 was exhibited as part of an installation for my graduation exhibition from the Goldsmiths MFA programme. The work was exhibited alongside a map of the region showing where I had been, the press pass I used to gain access, the Koran I stole and a copy of Abdullah Ocalan's 'Democratic Confederalism' which you can read here.