Ten Years of Revolution and Movement in West Asia and North Africa
2020–21 marks ten years since the emergence of a wave of revolutions in West Asia and North Africa (WANA). But even before that, there were movements and protests for participation and social justice that did not necessarily make it into the Western media, such as the strikes and Kifaya movement in Egypt.
Connecting resistance movements has long been an important task for the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung. With the present texts, we wanted to focus on the experiences of activists, researchers, and artists, especially their perspectives on the struggles of recent years and beyond.
With our partner NAWARA, we are implementing creative educational programmes that approach this revolutionary decade as “a time of movement”, rather than framing it in terms of its “success” or “failure”.
Most of the present texts have emerged from NAWARA’s discussion events, called “salons”. The intense and moving conversations illustrated the extent to which the private is political, and how some issues are commonly left out of political debates altogether, even though many share these experiences. For example: How can we engage in a revolutionary context without giving up on our personal safety and becoming ill? And what forms of care and healing are necessary in times of revolutionary upheaval?
As many of the participants are in exile—largely due to the increasing repression in their home countries—questions around the role of activists in the diaspora were another important focus: What role can activists in exile play? How can they support the struggles in the region? And how can they deal with feelings of powerlessness? What forms can solidarity take, and what kind of new ideological frameworks are necessary to build effective structures of solidarity?
Time and again, the discussions addressed the role of German and European policies and interests, and how they negatively impact the emancipatory movements in the region. The narrative of European governments is about supporting democracy in the region. However, often in the name of realpolitik, governments turn their back on democratic aspirations. Therefore, the question here is also: What forms of solidarity are needed, especially from civil societies in the Global North?
This page aims to initiate and support current debates around the themes of revolution and solidarity.
«Connecting Resistances 2018»
The conference “Connecting Resistances – Emancipatory Activism in West Asia, North Africa and Germany” in late September 2018 was organized by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung and Alsharq e.V.