Kurdish Studies

ISSN: 2051-4883 | e-ISSN: 2051-4891
Email: editor@kurdishstudies.net

Making the revolution intelligible, rendering political imaginations unthinkable: A postcolonial reading of British and American media representations of Rojava

Cihan Erdost Akin
Central European University
Keywords: Rojava, socio-political imaginations, critical discourse analysis, postcolonialism, representation ,


Although the gendered media portrayal of female Kurdish fighters has drawn academic attention, the representation of the socio-political model of Rojava by the British and American media is often neglected. This paper surveys the British and American media to understand the kinds of opinions found in the media, the discursive means that make the Rojava model intelligible, and what is rendered either commonsensical or unimaginable. The Rojava project is framed as “a separatist rebellion”, “an experiment”, and “a genuine social revolution”. By excluding the anti-capitalist and ecological principles of Rojava, and either dismissing or romanticising its achievements, these discourses render an alternative to capitalism and the nation-state unthinkable, and reproduce Orientalist images of the region, thus serving capitalist and imperialist interests. This study suggests that we should pay more attention to socio-political imaginations and representations of non-state paradigms in order to understand the hegemony of the state.

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