top of page

Rojava, Revolution and Democracy Seminar Series

Rojava and the Democratic Revolution



26 March 2024 


In this session we welcome Jenni Keasden and Natalia Szarek’s, authors of Worth Fighting For: Bringing the Rojava Revolution Home (Active Distribution, 2023. Jenni and Natalia spent several years as volunteers working with the women of the YPJ (Women’s Defence Units), an important section of the Syrian Democratic Forces established in 2015 and operating since then in Rojava and the northern Syrian region.


Jenni and Natalia will speak about some of their experiences of the ‘democratic revolution’ in Rojava, considering the relative importance of values, cultures, and institutions in sustaining this new social-political formation. 


Reflecting the aims of their book, the authors will consider how we can ‘make bridges between worlds’ and ‘translate some of the big ideas of the movement to our context.’


In the session, we will discuss these big ideas and consider their applicability and relevance to our own, crisis-ridden liberal-democratic systems. Extracts of Jenni and Natalia’s book, as well as a range of other sources that help to contextualize the discussion, will be made available to participants before the session. 



The following articles and readings will help contextualise the discussions for this seminar. This week, we will focus on hearing from Jenni Keasden and her experiences volunteering alongside the Women's Defence Units. We will also bring together themes from across the past two weeks, including exploring relationships between democracy, citizenship, participation, culture and nationhood.

Jenni and Natalia's book is available to download in full, but it's enough to get a flavour of their experiences by reading the first two chapters. 


You can download a copy of the Seminar Guide and Reading List here.​

You can download a copy of the Reading Questions and Study Guide here.


bottom of page