Special Seminar Politics as Play: Kurdish Youth and Street Protests on the Turkey-Syria Border

Date: October 24, 2017(Tue) Time: 16:00-18:00
Venue: No. 201, 2nd Floor, Inamori Foundation Building (“Tonan-tei”)

Speaker: Haydar Darici
PhD Candidate, Anthropology and History Program, University of Michigan

Commentator: Kohei Imai (Ph.D)
Researcher at Institute of Developing Economies Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO)

Since the early 2000s, the Kurdish youth movement has dramatically transformed the political landscape of Turkish Kurdistan by organizing wide-scale street protests across the region. Many of those who became socialized within the Kurdish youth movement later turned into transnational political actors by joining the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to fight the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. This talk explores the Kurdish youth movement in the border town Cizre with a focus on corporeal enactments in street protests. It demonstrates how the material expressions of the youth in protest —the manner in which they use and manipulate objects, their bodies, and their material environment as they fight and flee the police— generates a politics of play. This talk documents how the Kurdish youth challenge conventional ways of understanding and doing politics by turning politics into a lethal game in which they engage with the Turkish state.

About the Speaker:
Haydar Darici was born in Turkish Kurdistan and educated at Boagzici and Sabanci Universities in Istanbul, Turkey. He is currently pursuing his PhD in the Anthropology and History Joint Program at the University of Michigan. Darici has written and published extensively on Kurdish youth politics in Turkey in such journals as the International Journal for Middle East Studies, Red Thread and Theory and Event. He has also co-published a book with Leyla Neyzi in Turkish on inter ethnic youth perspectives in the cities of Mugla and Diyarbikir.


If there is any questions, please contact (Nishaant Choksi nishaant[at] or Ai Kawamura a-kawamura[at] )