Rojava Film Commune

The Rojava Film Commune emerged from the Rojava revolution in 2015, with two aims: education and the production of a new Rojavan revolutionary cinema. This dynamic collective of young filmmakers, established filmmakers, and students seeks to contribute to the development of the revolution by narrating both the history of the struggle and the possibilities it has opened for the present and for the future. As Rojava rebuilds itself politically, the Rojava Film Commune contributes to its cultural reconstruction. Through the medium of video and film, the commune’s members translate their newfound democratic freedom into a new artistic form. In their work, we see the cultural and artistic equivalent of what it means to self-define, to open the space — as Dilar Dirik said — for “living without approval” beyond the patriarchal capitalist state rejected by Rojavans. The Rojava Film Commune exposes the real desire behind producing art: to affirm the “living” of life. Its members have participated in various film festivals around the world, including the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and they are currently participating in documenta fifteen.

Lonely Trees
Video, 2017

This film unfolds a tale of music, highlighting how the art forms of traditional songs and chants document and preserve the histories of the region. A man explains to the viewer: “The art was similar among the people of the region, as we said nature is the inspiration for this art.” He concludes that art’s aim isn’t to find out who took from the other; this is not the essence of art and its subject. The fact is that art became a device that allowed cultural exchange among different societies, “promoting coexistence, love, and respect. We want to put forward the kind nature of art, its essence, its role, and its duty” he says.