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North East Syria: Shahba prepares for ‘Culture Week’ with its arts and music events


Hilala Zerin Culture and Arts Centre is fully prepared for the upcoming Culture Week’s events in Shahba, where thousands of Syrian Kurds displaced from Afrin have found refuge.

The people of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) are the living examples of humanity’s struggle to create a new democratic ideal, a new culture and society.

Creating new communes, councils, academies and cultural centres based on a self-governance principle, the experience in North East Syria gives birth to many other experiences, breaking the borders of politics and reaching out to broader spheres of arts and culture.

In villages, districts, cities and refugee camps in AANES, many cultural centres organise music and theatre events, film screenings, exhibitions and arts events despite the harsh circumstances they find themselves in.

Shahba canton in North and East Syria will stage a series of such artistic events during its “Culture Week,” which is organised by the activists of the Hilala Zerin Movement, ANHA reports.

Hilala Zerin, which was founded in 2018 in North East Syria as a culture and arts movement dedicated to preserve Kurdish culture, has prepared for and is looking forward to the colourful events of the week.

“We are preparing for blanket cultural events in Shahba. We want to introduce Kurdish folklore and culture. We will emphasize women’s defence and protection at this year’s event, because women are always subjected to violence. We want to draw attention to that and we have prepared our events in a way that creates sensitivity to this matter,” said Mizgin Çolaq, an administrative member of the Hilala Zerin Movement.

Within the scope of Shahba’s ‘Culture Week,’ many arts performances are being organised with and for the people of Shahba and people of Afrin, who were displaced from Afrin when Turkey and affiliated mercenaries besieged the town three years ago.

Kurdish artists from 13 different arts groups will perform traditional Kurdish dances, known as “govend” in Kurdish and will stage theatre plays. All cultural events will take place in various districts and refugee camps in Shahba.

In a previous interview with ANHA, Rehef Zilfo, a member of an all-female music band Stêra Zêrîn, as part of the Hilala Zerin Culture and Arts Centre, stated that after the Rojava revolution, many cultural and arts venues have been opened, providing opportunities to many young people like herself to engage with arts in its widest sense.

“We defend our culture, arts and language at these cultural and arts centres. We are fighting against the policies which seek to destroy Kurdish culture. If we had gone to the cultural centres of the Damascus government, we would have been deprived of our freedoms,” she said.

“With the Rojava Revolution, all peoples have a chance to live and create art using their own language and culture,” she said. Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian people preserve their culture in the regions of AANES.”

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