Female Fighters of Kurdistan (Part 2/3)


Uploaded by vice on Jul 23, 2012

Transcript:


MALE SPEAKER: What led you to join PJAK?
BARAN BERITAN: [SPEAKING KURDISH]

MALE SPEAKER: Apo is like the Kurdish Mao.
Really, he is the Kurdish Mao, since all he did was basically
take Mao's Little Red Book and tweak a couple points to make
it more "Kurdy." So Apoism is an essentially a grassroots
socialist movement that promotes full gender equality
and guerrilla warfare, hearts and minds, 1,000
blossoms, et cetera--
but for Kurds.
Apo is the political father of both the PKK and PJAK.
Like with most good leftists, feminism is a
staple of Apoist thought.
PJAK likes to claim that roughly 50% of their fighting
forces is women--
which is pretty progressive in general, but completely insane
for the Middle East.
BARAN BERITAN: [SPEAKING KURDISH]

RUKEN: [SPEAKING KURDISH]

MALE SPEAKER: Kurdish society seems to put such a strong
emphasis on the family.
Do women in PJAK, are they able to have families and be
part of that too?
Or is that something you have to give
up to become a soldier?
RUKEN: [SPEAKING KURDISH]


MALE SPEAKER: The conventional view of liberated women is a
bunch of crew-cut, masculated butchies--
basically women acting like men.
But aside from the uniforms and in spite of the strictures
against motherhood and fucking, the female PJAK
fighters we'd seen so far all preserved a sense of
femininity that went well with their Kalashnikov in a kind of
Leila Khaled meets the Viet Cong sniper from Full Metal
Jacket way.

RUKEN: [SPEAKING KURDISH]

[MUSIC PLAYING]
RUKEN: [SPEAKING KURDISH]

MALE SPEAKER: While everything sounded good, we were well
aware that we were still at a press event, and everybody's
answers felt extremely well-rehearsed.
So we were a little anxious to get up in PJAK's friends, the
mountains, and see how well all this translated to the
actual battlefield.