New World Academy #5: Stateless Democracy unfolds as a nomadic learning platform over an extended period of time. Its inaugural session takes place on Tuesday, 21 October 2014, at 19.30 hrs in the form of a conference titled [Stateless Democracy: The Revolution in Rojava Kurdistan] at De Balie, Amsterdam.
The fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has often been portrayed as a fight between the West and its Arab allies against Islamic ultra-fundamentalists. Over the last several years, however, a progressive Kurdish-led resistance has been forming in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) amidst the Syrian Civil War. The resistance has successfully implemented new models of grassroots democracy, gender equality, and sustainable ecology—its members practicing a political project they refer to as Democratic Confederalism. Women and men stand side-by-side in its armed forces in the face of both ISIS and the Bashar al-Assad regime. Despite the resistance’s efforts, Rojava is currently threatened by a massacre, and the international community continues to stand by silently as tragedy unfolds.
New World Academy (NWA) is an educational platform that invites stateless political organizations to exchange with artists and students on the role of art and culture in political struggle. It is established by artist Jonas Staal in collaboration with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, and functions as a department of the New World Summit, an artistic and political organization dedicated to developing parliaments for organizations banned from democracy. This fifth session of NWA, titled Stateless Democracy, is brought to life with the Kurdish Women’s Movement. Unlike the previous four sessions, NWA #5 is envisioned as a nomadic platform that unfolds over an extended period of time and is realized in collaboration with various individual and institutional partners in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and internationally.