Kurdish Bards Sing A Homeland Dengbêjî and Conflicting Nationalisms in the Turkish State

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Roshni Caputo-Nimbark


I recall meeting a group of Kurds on two occasions, both in 2011: once in a Turkish border town with Syria and another time in Lefkoşa,
the north end of Cyprus’s capital. On the first occasion, I spent all day bantering with four young Kurdish men, interspersed with their
impassioned outcries against alienation from mainstream Turkish society. The second time, a group of young activists shared their love and sorrow for their denigrated language and culture, taught me some Kurdish expressions, and beseeched me to spread the word about their plight. Since then, a fascination with the Rojava region of northern Syria, particularly its achievement of de facto autonomy in 2012 founded on ideals of feminism, anarchism, universal human rights, and ecological sustainability, has directed me toward its flourishing revolutionary art scene focused heavily on the celebration of Kurdish folklore, music, and language, all having been silenced by repressive regimes (Hamid 2016).

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Author Biography

Roshni Caputo-Nimbark, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Roshni Caputo-Nimbark is a PhD Candidate in Folklore at Memorial University.