Resistance is Life

Hevaltî, Çay and Auld Lang Syne

From Planet 240

by Harry Waveney

Congratulations to the winner of our 2020 Young Writers’ Competition! In his winning article, Harry Waveney reflects on the values and democratic structures he’s discovered while engaged in Kurdish solidarity activism; and how this all connects to an old song of friendship.

I wasn’t scared when I was surrounded by Turkish soldiers with automatic rifles. That’s not a boast. I’m scared of many things in fact. Like never properly falling in love, not seeing my parents enough before they die, and unknown objects in opaque bodies of water brushing against my skin. For that last one I’m glad the soldiers didn’t let us swim in the Tigris, as our protest had planned.

The essence of fear is solitude but I didn’t feel alone as I stood (nervously) under the parasol of a café on the bank of one of Mesopotamia’s greatest rivers in southeast Turkey. Or northern Kurdistan if you’d rather call it that. A great deal of effort – and blood – has been spent on that debate.

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